Senate Leaders Reach Budget Deal To Boost Spending For Pentagon, Keep
Government Running Till March
Republican and Democratic Senate leaders
announced a budget agreement Wednesday that includes a big boost in
spending for the Pentagon and would keep the government running past a
“I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on
defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant
agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We have reached a budget
deal that neither side loves, but both sides can be proud of.”
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Congress has until Feb. 8 to pass a
spending bill, and the deal would fund the government through March 23.
While Congress would still have to pass another spending measure before
that deadline, the agreement announced Wednesday includes a longer-term
pact to lift spending caps by roughly $400 billion for Pentagon and
domestic programs over two years.
"The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military,"
President Trump tweeted Wednesday. "It ends the dangerous sequester and
gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to keep America Great. Republicans
and Democrats must support our troops and support this bill!"
Donald J. Trump
The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military. It
ends the dangerous sequester and gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to
keep America Great. Republicans and Democrats must support our troops
and support this Bill!
5:36 PM - Feb 7, 2018
21K people are talking about this
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Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday he was encouraged by the
“I'm heartened that Congress recognizes the sobering effect of budgetary
uncertainty on America's military and on the men and women who provide
for our nation's defense,” Mattis said during the White House briefing.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also expressed optimism about
the deal, though wouldn’t explicitly say whether the president would
sign the agreement if passed.
“Look, we applaud the steps forward that they have made, but we're going
to need to see what is in the final bill. We are certainly happy with
the direction that it's moving, particularly that we're moving away from
the crisis budgeting that we have been on in the past,” she said.
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McConnell said the measure would rewrite existing defense limits that
have "hamstrung our armed forces and jeopardized our national security."
The bill removes automatic spending cuts – known as sequestration caps –
for both defense and nondefense programs. The caps were put in place in
2011 as part of the Budget Control Act to lift the debt limit.
The deal would lift the debt limit and also includes disaster relief for
hurricane-stricken areas as well as a four-year extension of the
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The agreement, though, does not tackle immigration -- at a time when
Congress is debating how to address those affected by the looming
expiration of former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program gave a deportation
reprieve to young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
McConnell has committed to a freewheeling debate on immigration if the
Senate is still open after Feb. 8.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved their version of
a stopgap spending bill to run the government through March 23 and
bolster defense funding.
The House's top Democrat swung out against the latest plan.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California announced she would
oppose the budget measure unless her chamber's GOP leaders promised a
vote on legislation to protect "Dreamer" immigrants.
Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this