With the clock ticking toward another government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress remained at odds Thursday over a sweeping bipartisan budget deal that would boost spending on military and domestic priorities and increase the nation's debt limit but leave unaddressed the controversial status of young immigrants known as Dreamers.
The package would boost US government spending on national defense and domestic programs by $300 billion over a two-year period, ending years of mandatory budget caps Republicans argued were hollowing out America's military and Democrats said were harming the needy. Speaker Paul Ryan has reiterated several times that he won't hold a debate on an immigration plan unless it has the White House's approval, despite McConnell scheduling a debate over DACA solutions for next week.
The 77-year-old vowed to oppose any budget that does not include protections for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children.
Ryan has said House Republicans would bring an immigration measure to the floor only if it had the support of President, as well.
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So it will now take up a revised six-week temporary spending bill that includes the major budget deal struck Wednesday between Senate leaders on both sides of the political aisle.
Numerous more conservative House Republicans have said they will oppose the budget deal due to deficit concerns.
Some House Republicans, meanwhile, have already objected to the bill on the grounds that it spends way too much money. This is a deal where we have a few democrats in the Senate dictate what this President and this Congress does.
"I believe we have reached a budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of", Schumer said. It would increase non-defense domestic discretionary spending caps by $131 billion over current spending levels.
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Schumer echoed the support, saying the agreement would give the federal government certainty after years of bickering.
The budget bill allocates $4.9bn over two years for Medicaid health services in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, $2bn a year to help reduce the cost of college and $14bn annually for community development grants, Think Progress reported.
A stopgap bill to keep the U.S. government from another shut down have been approved by the house of representatives on Tuesday.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the agreement as a moment when the Democrats and Republicans cooperate. "After months of fiscal brinkmanship, this budget deal is the first real sprout of bipartisanship and it should break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled this Congress and hampered our middle class".
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