US Senate leaders reach two-year budget deal
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US Senate leaders reach two-year budget deal

February 8, 2018

The Raw Data

Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday that Senate leaders had agreed on a bipartisan two-year budget plan. CNBC reported that about $165 billion would be allocated to the military, and about $131 billion more would go towards domestic programs. The plan would increase debt limits to accommodate an estimated additional $400 billion in spending over two years. The Senate must first vote on the plan by Thursday afternoon or evening; the House would then vote on it before a midnight deadline for a government shutdown.

President Donald Trump tweeted in support of the bill on Wednesday. CNBC said the House Freedom Caucus does not support the spending increases.

The increase in spending would include about $90 billion for disaster aid, such as hurricanes and wildfires, The Washington Post reported. Some of this aid would be allocated to Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Some of the increased domestic spending would include the following areas: community health centers, an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to ten years, opioid abuse, and infrastructure, including transportation, drinking water and broadband internet access.

The current short-term spending bill expires at midnight Thursday, and a government shutdown would follow unless other legislation is passed. As part of the Senate deal, another short-term spending bill would be passed to fund the government until the two-year budget agreement is finalized and passed. The House passed a separate short-term spending bill on Tuesday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she and a “large number” of Democratic representatives would not support the short-term spending bill unless House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) assured them that a debate on immigration legislation would take place.

In September, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be phased out. The program, which began in 2012 under the Obama administration, grants work permits to approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants — also known as “Dreamers” — who came to the U.S. under the age of 16. Some DACA beneficiaries’ work permits are set to expire on Mar. 5, unless Congress passes legislation or a court order extends the deadline.

As part of the deal to pass the previous short-term spending bill, McConnell told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that the Senate would debate immigration legislation next week.

Sources: CNBC, The Washington Post