US Congress stumbles into government shutdown, budget deal stalled

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced on Wednesday that he and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have reached a bipartisan agreement on a two-year federal budget that Schumer said could "positively impact" middle-class New Yorkers.

Exact spending would be left to the appropriations committees but included in the funding is $10 billion to invest in infrastructure, $2.9 billion for child care and $3 billion to combat opioid and substance abuse, CNN reported. On Tuesday, the House passed a partisan bill that would fund government for six weeks - but fund the military through the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

Federal funding for government services had expired at midnight (05:00 GMT).

Democrats are not taking that approach this time around and Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, who control both Chambers of Congress, are eager to keep spending and immigration separate.

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. "I don't think that's going to happen".

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity late Thursday, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to Trump's desk "without delay".

Democrats like Pelosi are pushing for the bill to include provisions for "Dreamers" - immigrants brought illegally to the U.S.by their parents.

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The conservative House Freedom Caucus has already indicated it will not support the spending increases.

Passing 245 to 182, the House bill would fund most of the agencies until 23rd March, while it is the nonstarter of the Senate due to the Democratic opposition.

Senate leaders are expected to strip out the military portion and attempt to pass a broader budget deal that Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for months.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would "love" to see another government shutdown even though Senate leaders said they were close to an agreement on a spending bill to boost funding for defense and domestic programs.

But Democrats said the gambit is proof that Republicans are squandering their majorities, pointing out that it will be the fifth temporary spending bill since September.

"There's no education in the second kick of a mule", McConnell said about the short-lived shutdown.

"The budget deal does not have everything Democrats want, it does not have everything the Republicans want, but it has a great deal of what the American people want", Schumer said in his speech on the House Floor. Nor would it increase border security or provide funding for a southern border wall.

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