February 18, 2019

Possible shutdown looms as congress tries to reach budget deal

11 February 2018, 08:30 | Devin Moran

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the new budget agreement but made little mention about what isn't coming with the new two-year agreement - a plan to protect the "Dreamer" immigrants. "After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough".

Senate leaders say they've reached a two-year budget deal that boosts spending for both the military and domestic programs. "But we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people. and the agreement will clear the way for new investment in our nation's infrastructure - a bipartisan priority shared by the president and lawmakers in both parties".

Senate leaders have expressed some confidence in reaching a much larger, long-term funding agreement before the government runs out of money at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Republicans control Congress's upper chamber with 51 members and need nine Democrats to back any government spending bill.

"House Republicans continue marching down a very partisan road", Schumer said, arguing that the House bill "will raise defense spending but leave everything else behind".

However, President Donald Trump said to bring on the shutdown if there's no deal on border security and tougher immigration measures.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the leader of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, said he opposes the emerging deal, which could be unveiled Wednesday.

"We are not advocating for the shutdown, that's the fault of the Democrats not being able to do their jobs", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "We're certainly happy with the direction that it's moving, particularly that we're moving away from the crisis budgeting that we've been on".

Immigration negotiators say they've taken steps in the right direction, but no deal to address the contentious issue has thus far emerged.

"What are you afraid of?"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the deal with Schumer on the Senate floor. Last year, Trump said that the country could use a "good shutdown".

Representative Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, said a budget deal without protection for the young immigrants covered under the soon-to-end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unacceptable.

He is pointing to upcoming talks on immigration, writing, "Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!" While leaders carve out a deal, President Trump [VIDEO] has threatened a #government shutdown if a deal cannot be reached. McConnell has said he will allow the Senate to debate an immigration bill on its own after Friday if the government remains open.

"While I obviously cannot guarantee any outcome, let alone supermajority of support, I can ensure the process is fair to all sides. And that I intend to do".

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