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Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2018

Senate passes massive spending bill to avoid government shutdown

Senate leaders rolled out a massive two-year budget deal Wednesday, pleasing both parties and preventing a government shutdown, but increases the federal government’s spending. The plan heads to the House.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the deal with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor, which would boost military and non-defense spending by $300 billion over the next two years as well as add more than $80 billion in disaster relief. About $160 billion would go to the Pentagon and about $128 billion would to non-defense programs. The agreement also includes aid to respond to recent natural disasters.

Mitch McConnell photo/ donkeyhotey

“I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement,” McConnell said in his announcement.

“The compromise we’ve reached will ensure for the first time in years our armed forces will have more of the resources they need to keep them safe,” McConnell said announcing the deal Wednesday on the Senate floor.

“This budget deal will be the best thing we’ve done to our economy and our middle class in a long time,” Schumer said in a speech following McConnell.
The effort got a boost from President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.

US Capitol
Image/National Park Service

“The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration is “supportive,” of the deal, “primarily because it meets several of the things that we laid out, including ending the crisis budgeting, and also helps meet the needs of the military and defense spending.”
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who is also a member of GOP Senate leadership, said he expected the plan to include a debt increase of one year, or until March 2019. He said he expects it to pass the House because of the amount of defense spending included.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate Republican in the Senate, said she’s optimistic.

“I’m confident there’s not going to be a government shutdown, and there shouldn’t be,” Collins said. “We’re already nearly six months into the fiscal year, and it’s irresponsible of us to not finish this work.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California announced she was opposed to it, and while she didn’t encourage her caucus to vote “no,” her statement raises questions about whether there will ultimately be enough Democratic support in the House to pass the bill.

“The budget caps agreement includes many Democratic priorities,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This morning, we took a measure of our Caucus because the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers in the House. Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support.”

Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said, “Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill — one that the president supports.”

Fiscal Conservatives are slamming the deal for the massive increase in domestic spending.

“Bad, bad, bad agreement,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said. “And it’s also terrible.”

Image/Prawny

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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