Last month, the government officially shut down. While it only lasted one weekend until the House and Senate were able to agree to file for a temporary extension, the days leading up to the next one have been filled with disagreement.
The extension gave representatives until February 8 to reach a budget agreement before a shutdown the following day. The main source of controversy that has caused Democrats and Republicans to reach a standstill involves budget plans for DACA and other immigration deals.
Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, some key leaders were able to reach an agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just announced a new deal that would set spending levels for the next two years.
According to The Hill, the deal does not include a hike to the debt ceiling but does include defense and nondefense programs. The debt ceiling conversation is set to take place within the broader Senate COP conference.
Reportedly, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is backing the deal as well, making it almost a sure bet that Senate will pass it. Some are saying that it still may not pass in the House, however, because it does not include budget plans for DACA.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that she will not back the deal unless Speaker Paul Ryan will consider adding the same legal protection to the “Dreamers” that DACA provided. This is not too far out of the question, however, and McConnell had already said that there would be a floor debate about the topic within the Senate.
The new 2-year agreement would increase defense spending by around $80 billion. It would also increase nondefense programs by $131 billion, and add $80 billion for disaster relief for communities affected by hurricanes and wildfires.
McConnell said, "I hope we can build on this bipartisan momentum and make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress, for our constituents and for the country that we all love."
Schumer said, “After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough. After months of fiscal brinkmanship, this budget deal is the first real sprout of bipartisanship.”
Other funding priorities that the new deal would include revolve around community health centers, veterans’ hospitals, and infrastructure programs. It also would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
So far, the new deal has received backlash for the fact that it is a massive increase in government spending. Other complaints revolve around the lack of an immigration plan.
We will keep you updated as more information is released about the Senate’s final decision with the deal and about how the House responds. What do you think about this? Do you think this new deal will prevent another government shutdown? Let us know! In other recent news, Meghan McCain just revealed an important phone call she had with President Trump.