House GOP works to avert shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y. accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. left and others members of the House and Senate Democrats speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Was

Republicans will have trouble trying to pass a stop-gap funding bill through the Senate; Democrats want to match increases in non-defense to defense spending for the year.

The Senate agreement on a two-year, almost $400 billion budget deal would provide Pentagon and domestic programs with huge spending increases.

USA lawmakers sought to clinch a sweeping budget deal Wednesday that would set spending levels for two years and end the immediate threat of another government shutdown, on the eve of a new deadline for federal funding.

Aside from the two-year deal that would have to be approved by the full Senate and House, lawmakers were also trying to reach agreement by Thursday to avoid a shutdown and fund the government until March 23. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., went with a deal that would reap tens of billions of dollars for other priorities - including combatting opioids - while hoping to solve the immigration impasse later.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would oppose the deal because it does not include protections for the Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to the U.S. as children.

"We don't need a government shutdown on this", said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., whose district in the Washington suburbs is home to many federal workers.

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.

Trump threatened on Tuesday to upend budget talks by saying he would welcome a government shutdown if Congress were not able to agree to changes in immigration law that he said would prevent criminals from entering the country.

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"There is some discussion that he Democrats have shown some flexibility but I've been hearing that for four months", said Louisiana Republican Sen. "The bottom line is that thanks to President Trump we can now have the strongest military we have ever had".

Sanders says it will move the White House away from "crisis to crisis budgeting".

The government shut down last January 19th.

McConnell has promised the Senate will debate competing immigration proposals next week if Congress can avert a shutdown, but neither he nor Schumer would embrace a specific policy proposal on Tuesday.

"I'd love to see a shutdown if we can't get this stuff taken care of", he said in reference to immigration.

But the House bill has little chance in the Senate, where a slim Republican majority means Democrat support is needed for any bill to pass.

Meanwhile, the legislation faces uncertainty in the House, where liberals, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are protesting a lack of protections for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children and the conservative House Freedom Caucus is lining up against provisions ending spending caps.

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