Government reaches budget deal
Senate leadership has reached a bipartisan budget deal that would raise government funding limits over the next two years for both defense and non-defense spending, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced on the Senate floor.
Thanking Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, McConnell tweeted, “I’m happy to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement.”
The budget deal provides for:
- Nearly $300 billion increase over two years for the military and non-defense programs
- $165 billion increase for defense spending
- $131 billion increase for non-defense spending
The deal would raise budget caps and would prevent spending cuts under sequestration from taking effect. CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reports that the bill would overall lift spending caps for the military and domestic programs by about $300 billion over the next two years. Cordes adds that it is unclear if the possibility of an increase in the debt ceiling is going to be included in that bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently projected that Congress will likely face the debt ceiling deadline in early March.
The budget deal will likely be attached to a short-term spending bill in the Senate that the House passed on Tuesday. The bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), would keep the government funded through March 23 but provide new defense spending to the military through September.
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, signaled Thursday morning that she opposes this plan. She has been speaking on the House floor for hours, since about 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, to demand a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, on bringing immigration legislation to the House floor.
“I am taking this time because I think we have an opportunity now that is almost matchless we are in a moment when we can all come together to do something really good for the country,” Pelosi said. “Take an action that has bipartisan support.”
She is asking for a commitment similar to that made by McConnell. He promised that if the government did not shut down this week, that he would allow immigration debate on the floor to begin.
“I’m going to structure in such a way that’s fair to everyone,” he told reporters Tuesday, adding, “Whoever gets to 60 wins,” in reference to the threshold necessary to advance a measure in the Senate.
Ryan has said he will only put a bill on the floor if he knows it has the president’s and the House majority’s support.
Pelosi is filling time on the floor with stories of Dreamers, provided by other lawmakers. She’s gone far beyond the usual one-minute speeches House lawmakers customarily make, but she has the privilege of speaking longer because of her leadership role.