Shutdown reveals Senate in disarray


Senate Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced on Wednesday that he and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have reached a bipartisan agreement on a two-year federal budget that Schumer said could "positively impact" middle-class New Yorkers.

Republicans, though, are pushing for a bigger boost on the defense side, saying discretionary spending limits have fallen disproportionately on the military since 2011, when lawmakers approved the caps.

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. It would also authorize funds for disaster aid, community health centers, the Children's Health Insurance Program and fighting the opioid crisis. The House deal would fund the government for six more weeks. The government is now operating on its fourth continuing resolution of the fiscal year, and it expires on Thursday at midnight.

But several Republicans said they weren't optimistic the extra defence spending could get through the Senate.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added: "I am very hopeful that we can come to an agreement, an agreement very soon". "I'm also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute", Paul said on Fox News.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he believes there are enough votes in the House to pass the Senate's version of the bill.

The House on Tuesday passed legislation to keep the government running through March 23, marrying the stopgap spending measure with a $659 billion Pentagon spending plan, but the Senate plan would rewrite that measure.

Aspokesman for the libertarian-leaning Paul said the lawmaker is pushing for an amendment to restore the budget caps.

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The bill now moves to the House.

The continuing resolution avoided a government shutdown at midnight Thursday.

Schumer said he has been working to earn support for the budget deal among House Democrats, who have been wary of supporting a long-term budget agreement without an immigration bill granting protections to people in the country illegally who were brought to the United States as children. Republicans control the Senate 51-49, and spending bills need 60 votes to advance.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the domestic spending increases were too much for him and other conservatives to stomach. Nor would it increase border security or provide funding for a southern border wall.

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The shutdown gradually ended after Trump signed a bill to end the shutdown after striking a deal with Democrats to hold a debate on the future of over 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, including thousands of Indians.