White House sees good chance of long-term budget deal

09 February, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • People walk by the US Capitol building in Washington US Feb 8 2018. Reuters

"I would be very surprised if more than a couple of the Freedom Caucus members would vote yes", Meadows said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday morning he believes he has enough votes in the House to pass the bipartisan spending deal reached in the Senate that would significantly raise domestic and defense spending and avert a government shutdown.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would oppose the deal because it does not include protections for the Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children.

"We didn't agree on anything, but at least we got them talking some specifics- obviously there are wide areas of disagreement, which will not surprise you, but it was useful", he said of Tuesday's immigration meeting.

White House sees good chance of long-term budget deal

A bipartisan budget deal that would fund several healthcare programs has support from Senate leadership, but House Democrats looking to secure a vote on immigration reform are poised to withhold votes for the funding package. The bill would also provide long overdue disaster funding for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico months after hurricanes devastated homes, infrastructure and coastlines there.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday he was encouraged by the deal.

"I hope that the speaker will man up [confront the issue] and decide that we in the House can also have what Mitch McConnell guaranteed in the Senate: a vote", Pelosi said.

Brokered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the budget accord will increase military and domestic spending alike, lifting what were arbitrary caps on their growth imposed in 2011.

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The Democratic leader has dropped his push to use the budget talks to extract concessions on immigration from Republicans, leaving aside threats to shut down the government over the issue.

Nadeam Elshami is executive vice president at Signal Group, a bipartisan government relations and strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C. He was chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and a 25-year veteran of Capitol Hill. The compromise removes spending caps on both military and domestic programs.

While Schumer said the spending plan is good for New Yorkers, his fellow Democrat, Maloney, said, "This budget-busting deal is bad for my neighbors in the Hudson Valley".

President Trump said he'd "love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of", referring to his demands that any bill include up to $30 billion for a border wall and beefed up security as well as an end to the visa lottery program and chain migration.

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McConnell has promised Democrats he would allow a free-flowing Senate debate on immigration by February 8 and that he would not try to influence the outcome.

"If we don't change it, let's have a shutdown", he said.

GOP leaders announced they would seek to pass the stopgap spending bill by marrying it with a full-year, $659 billion Pentagon spending bill that's a top priority of the party's legion of defense hawks. 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 US under the age of 16.

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