House Passes Temporary Spending Bill, Stop-Gap Proposal Heads to the Senate

Marsha Scott
February 8, 2018

President Trump tweeted his thumbs-up for a bipartisan budget deal hatched by Senate leaders Wednesday, signaling to House conservatives they should get behind the compromise.

"We have reached the budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of", he said. The government is now operating on its fourth continuing resolution of the fiscal year, and it expires on Thursday at midnight.

"After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough", said Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) from the Senate floor.

Democrats previously wanted to pass a bill protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation in tandem with legislation to raise budget caps.

"The speaker of the House is saying we don't matter here, the members of the House", she said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, announced she would withhold support for the funding deal until Republican Speaker Paul Ryan commits to a floor vote to address the plight of beneficiaries of deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The stop-gap measure was approved January 18, ending a two-day government shutdown. Market volatility continued to abate on Wednesday as United States stock markets rallied, having seen their biggest falls since 2011 on Monday.

"First and foremost, this bipartisan agreement will unwind the sequestration cuts that have hamstrung our armed forces and jeopardized our national security", McConnell said.

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The continuing resolution (CR), which passed the House 245-182, would fund the Defense Department for the rest of fiscal 2018 and keep the rest of the government's lights on until March 23.

The Senate is expected to vote on the new spending bill on Wednesday, when lawmakers are likely to change the bill and return it to the House for final passage.

While some deficit hawks praised the caps for keeping budgets in check, many lawmakers from both parties have bristled against the caps, arguing more funds are needed for both defense and domestic programs. That puts pressure on Republicans, who could still pass a bill in the House even if almost all Democrats voted against it.

McConnell previously promised Senate Democrats that he would bring up a bill on the chamber floor to address the pending expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if the government stays open past February 8. "Even though I think there's an intention to take up the issue, I want that intention to be clearly and unequivocally expressed".

"As I've said many times before, a cromnibus will not pass the Senate", Schumer said Tuesday.

McConnell stressed that the deal "is the product of extensive negotiations among congressional leaders and the White House".

Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), joined Brian Kilmeade to discuss the latest on a potential government shutdown.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was pleasing that Congress has been able to meet the Trump administration's defence spending requirement and come together on a two-year spending bill.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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