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Trump Backs Budget Plan: 'So Important for Our Great Military'
08 February 2018, 09:26 | Tara Lloyd
Trump Backs Budget Plan: 'So Important for Our Great Military'
Lawmakers in the upper chamber are negotiating a two-year deal to lift spending caps on both defense and domestic spending, which could be attached to the House-passed spending bill, in hopes of being able to dodge having to pass another continuing resolution.
It also includes more than $89 billion in relief for states hit by a recent spate of hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. The deal has some cuts to offset about $100 billion of the additional spending. "No one would suggest its ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people".
That includes $140 billion in emergency defense funding.
The spending bill would modify the discretionary spending caps enforced by the Budget Control Act for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
"The compromise we have reached will ensure that for the first time in years, our armed forces will have more of the resources they need to keep America safe", McConnell said.
"After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough", Schumer said.
The deal pairs the boost in defense spending with a roughly equal increase in domestic spending.
On Tuesday, White House chief of staff John Kelly threw fuel on the dispute as he defended Trump's proposed solution.
Under tentative numbers discussed by congressional aides who were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations, defense spending would get an $80 billion boost above the existing $549 billion slated for 2018.
The temporary funding measure would keep the government running through March 23 and also reauthorize for funding for community health centers that enjoy widespread bipartisan support.
"To summarize it: This spending bill is a debt junkie's dream", Brooks said.
"It's so much money", House Freedom Caucus member Scott Perry summarized.
Democrats seemed similarly conflicted.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi began speaking on the House floor at 10:04 a.m. Wednesday.
Pelosi pointed to a bipartisan bill by Reps.
The deal also will help Upstate dairy farmers, retired Teamsters in Syracuse caught in a pension crisis, and New York's effort to fight the opioid crisis, Schumer said after announcing the deal Wednesday afternoon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"We're not going to bring immigration legislation through that the President doesn't support", Ryan told reporters Tuesday.
DACA is the Obama-era program that shields those immigrants from deportation.
"There's some important programs that need to be funded, too", Tester said.
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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.
They got crucial support from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who laid out the terms of the deal to House Republicans in a closed-door meeting.
At any other time, House Democrats would have taken a domestic spending victory and moved on.
Along with President Donald Trump's tax cuts that were approved by Congress in December, the new round of spending would further add to the bulging deficit and may face resistance in the House from Democrats as well as Republican fiscal hawks.
The proposal will likely require the support of some Democrats if it is to pass the House.
Most of the caucus' closed-door meetings focus on current issues - the ongoing Russian Federation investigations; the Justice Department's attempts to curb state marijuana legalization laws; how Democrats can push back against the GOP-sponsored tax reform plan; and how to use social media to promote legislation and political priorities, according to an internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said he wasn't just a no ― he was a "hell no".
"I am taking this time because I think we have an opportunity now that is nearly matchless we are in a moment when we can all come together to do something really good for the country", Pelosi said. "That's how strong this is for all of us in our caucus".
Overall, the product is closer to the kind of budget Barack Obama would have wanted, than the one that the Trump White House proposed past year.
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