Congress Approves Two-Year Spending Pact

Congress Approves Two-Year Spending Pact

The bill, which includes a far-reaching deal that increases spending limits for the next two years and raises the federal debt ceiling until March 2019, would break the cycle of government funding crises in time for what is set to be a bruising campaign for November's mid-term elections.

Approval of the $300 billion bipartisan accord was not guaranteed, with votes expected Thursday.

The United States might be witnessing another shut down soon as the Congress is coming nearer and nearer to a point where it will have no more funds left.

And liberal stalwarts including top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi were also in revolt, because the deal does nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Yup. While you were sleeping, Congress was shutting down the government in a new but familiar display of dysfunction.

Negotiators are hoping to include the accord in what would be the fifth - and possibly final - short-term continuing resolution of this fiscal year.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed separate caps on military and nonmilitary spending.

Supporters of these immigrants have watched in growing outrage as Democrats have failed repeatedly to achieve results for the cause.

That won over many Republicans but some were still furious over the $131 billion extra made available for non-military spending, including health and infrastructure. Nondefense accounts would increase by more than $60 billion, to $597 billion by 2019.

"This budget deal is the first real sprout of bipartisanship", Schumer said.

"I don't know why we are basically burning time here", Mr Cornyn said. "That's compromise. That's governing".

Friday's vote in the House culminated in a weird standoff, with Democrats holding back the vast majority of their votes to show just how many Democratic votes Republicans needed to pass the bill. With 238 Republicans in the House, Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows predicted that 90-100 Republicans would oppose the deal with increased budget caps, which would mean that at least 75-80 Democrats are needed to vote for the bill in order to get to the votes to pass it.

The Senate debated all through Thursday night on the 650-page spending plan created to keep the government running for 2 years, and voted to pass the bill in the early hours of Friday, with the deadline to shutdown already expired.

Pelosi seized the House floor in a rare filibuster-like speech that began about 10 a.m. EST. First time this has happened in a long time. Ultimately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to hold votes on an unspecified immigration bill in return for Democrats' votes to reopen the government for three more weeks. He's gotten a little more careful since then, but it's clear that Trump wants a deal that will allow him to argue that he's shown "great heart" towards DACA recipients.

When the Senate convened after midnight, Paul was back at the microphone, chiding Republicans and Democrats alike for a bipartisan agreement that increased the national debt by spending money on both parties' sacred cows. But Sen. Rand Paul, a fiscal conservative and resident contrarian, pumped the brakes, using his objection allowed under Senate rules to delay a vote until after 1 a.m. Friday.

It also creates a new Joint Select Committee that is tasked with developing a legislative solution to shore up faltering employer pensions by December.

Many Democrats support the budget deal, but were unhappy with the compromise because it doesn't tackle immigration - specifically addressing the plight of DREAMers, including the roughly 700,000 immigrants who are in the USA illegally after being brought to the country as children and who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is set to expire on March 5. The bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to reopen the signup period for the program and offer farmers an opportunity to buy into it at more affordable rates.