What is in US Senate deal on spending, debt ceiling

NATION-NOW     New short-term spending bill Defense is in DREAMers are out     
       New short-term spending bill Defense is in DREAMers are out

"No one would suggest it was ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

Alongside his own announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his pledge to hold a vote on legislation to protect almost 700,000 unauthorized immigrants ahead of DACA's March 5 expiration deadline in a process he said would be "fair to all sides".

That includes $140 billion in emergency defense funding.

"To carry out the strategy you rightly directed we develop, we need you to pass a budget now", he said.

I'm happy to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the pact, joined on the Senate floor by top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY.

Schumer said the deal would be the best thing Congress has done for the military and the middle class in a long time.

Do they give their support, given that there is increased funding for domestic issues like education and veterans affairs - a major victory considering Republicans ordinarily want to cut federal spending? Non-defense spending would rise by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.

White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter stepped down a day after The Daily Mail, a British tabloid that covers the White House, published interviews with two of his ex-wives.

It would increase defence spending by US$80 billion over current law in this financial year and US$85 billion in the one that begins October 1, according to a congressional official familiar with the plan. But the House is another matter. Pelosi wants Speaker Ryan to vow to do the same in the House.

"Notably President Trump stayed out of it, and I think that worked to the benefit of getting the deal", Schumer said.

"To summarize it: This spending bill is a debt junkie's dream", Brooks said.

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McConnell said Tuesday that while he hopes "we will end up having something", he was unsure if any proposed measure would get the 60 votes needed for approval. House Democrats opposed the GOP efforts because the bill did not address the Dreamers and funded defense for a full year, while only funding domestic priorities for a few weeks.

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

Democrats seemed similarly conflicted.

Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has been holding a marathon speech on Wednesday, demanding legal status for immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children.

"Without that commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support", Pelosi said. The Senate has already promised that vote. Trump has said he plans to kill DACA next month.

The dueling Federal Bureau of Investigation memos, presidential tweets and stock market twists and turns have dominated every media platform - as they did during the Republican retreat last week and may again during this week's Democratic retreat, where Democrats must establish their priorities and messaging for the rest of the year.

Pelosi's dramatic House floor speech, which was stretching toward an hour, came the morning after top Senate leaders said they were close to finalizing the sweeping long-term budget deal.

President Donald Trump may have muddied the political waters when he called for another shutdown over immigration on Tuesday, but House and Senate leaders are continuing negotiations to fund the government in both the near and the long term.

In a further sign of the Republican-controlled Congress' inability to get its most basic work done, the House in a 245-182 vote passed and sent to the Senate a temporary spending bill to extend most agency funding until March 23.

House Democrats are still pushing for a commitment from the Speaker to take up specific pieces of DACA legislation in order to unlock their votes. But the measure appears increasingly likely to be rewritten by the Senate to include legislation implementing the brewing broader budget pact.

The Senate is expected to pass the package before the shutdown deadline Thursday, leaving the matter in the House's hands.

Republicans had been scrambling to pass the stopgap measure through the House because they can't count on support from Democrats - who feel stymied by inaction on legislation to protect young immigrants from deportation - to advance the legislation.