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Major Senate Budget Deal

11 February 2018, 08:31 | Taylor George

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Spencer Platt  Getty Images

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday reached a two-year bipartisan budget deal worth around $300-billion that would lift caps on defense and domestic government spending in an attempt to end the kind of squabbling over fiscal issues that has plagued Washington for years.

In the Senate, the emerging strategy to avoid a shutdown is to add a bipartisan budget caps deal to the CR. Republicans have pushed for defense hikes of $80 billion a year and have offered Democrats $60 billion a year for nondefense programs.

Schumer said the agreement would include an increase for Democrats' priorities in domestic programs, such as addressing the opioid crisis and broadband infrastructure, and Republicans' demands for a boost in military spending.

It also includes two years of funding for community health centres and extends several expiring health care programmes.

The federal government shut down briefly last month after Democrats refused to back a funding deal that did not address those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Schumer said of the deal in a floor speech: "The budget deal doesn't have everything Democrats want, it doesn't have everything the Republicans want, but it has a great deal of what the American people want".

Senate leaders said earlier on Tuesday that they were close to a two-year budget deal.

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Nevertheless, Brown went on to say that he's willing to negotiate.

Now lawmakers in both houses are hoping a broader, multiyear budget deal can be struck in time to prevent another stopgap measure after this one, which would expire March 23, in what would be the fifth short-term funding bill of this fiscal year.

Negotiations have been ongoing on Capitol Hill in recent days to avert a government shutdown, with lawmakers acutely aware of the impact a government closure might have on market sentiment, given this week's stock market turmoil.

In 2013, Brown, along with 51 other Senate Democrats, voted to pass the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act", which would have repealed the diversity visa lottery program and reduced family-based immigration in favor of a more "merit-based" system.

The House Bill does not contain changes to United States immigration law, which were a key point of contention in a partisan stand-off that led to a three-day partial shutdown last month. She spoke for more than eight hours on the House floor Wednesday in support of Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S.by their parents as children.

Senate leaders reached a long-term budget deal to fund the government on Wednesday - despite President Trump's desires for a government shutdown and a showdown on immigration. The legislation that provides these funds must be passed by a certain deadline.



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