‘ART OF THE DEAL’: Senate works together to avoid government shutdown, passes spending plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate leaders announced on Wednesday a proposed spending plan that would boost defense spending and avoid another dreaded government shutdown.

“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 an announcement on the House floor. “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.”

If passed, the two-year budget deal would boost military and non-defense budgets by $300 billion and clear the way for more than $80 billion in disaster relief, with roughly $160 billion dedicated to Pentagon spending and another $128 billion toward non-defense government programs.

Less enthusiastic than McConnel, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said of the agreement, “We have reached a budget deal that neither side loves, but both sides can be proud of.”

The agreement would also include disaster relief for areas stricken by natural disasters and impose a four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A $6 billion budget for opioid treatment is also factored into the bill as is $20 billion to be set aside for infrastructure.

Just prior to the proposed legislation being formally made public, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced she will vote to prevent it’s passage if the deal isn’t revised to include funding for DACA.

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

The House passed a short-term spending bill Tuesday, which was aimed at keeping the government operational until a budget deal could be made. That bill also included a full-year of funding for defense spending, which both parties agreed was necessary.



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