Senate Leader Announces Two-Year Spending Plan to Avoid Shutdown

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House GOP leaders are planning a Tuesday vote on another stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running through March 23 and provide funding for the military through September.

In an attempt to avoid yet another government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate reached an agreement on a two-year #budget deal. The spending limits were agreed to by Congress after Tea Party Republicans threatened to shutdown the government.

CHIP, which provides health coverage to 9 million kids, recently had its funding extended for six years as part of an agreement to temporarily keep the government open last month.

President Trump tweeted his thumbs-up for a bipartisan budget deal hatched by Senate leaders Wednesday, signaling to House conservatives they should get behind the compromise.

"I'm optimistic that very soon we'll be able to reach an agreement", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday, referring to the two-year budget deal they were discussing.

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she and many fellow Democrats will oppose the deal unless Republicans allow the chamber to vote on legislation protecting immigrants.

Further squeezing the debate is that House Democrats are scheduled to leave Wednesday morning for a three-day annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., though buses are supposed to be on standby in case lawmakers need to return to Washington to vote on whatever measure the Senate sends back to the House.

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While the government shutdown could still take place, the Senate agreement is a positive step forward for both parties who have seen their popularity drop in recent polls due to the current dysfunction. It funds the government for six weeks and raises federal budget caps for two years, with the increase divided nearly equally between defense spending ($165 billion) and domestic spending ($131 billion).

The deal would be at least partly paid for by cuts to mandatory spending programs elsewhere in the budget, according to the Republican summary.

Some House Republicans, meanwhile, have already objected to the bill on the grounds that it spends way too much money.

"This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among Congressional leaders and the White House", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

At the White House, President Donald Trump appeared to hold out the possibility of a shutdown if lawmakers don't come up with a deal on immigration. But she warned that her party would not support the deal without a promise from House speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a debate and vote on an immigration package, which would involve moves to include so-called "dreamers"- young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

"Our upcoming debate on DACA, border security and other issues will be a process that is fair to all sides", he said.

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