Senate Announces 2-Year Budget Deal That’s A Huge Win For GOP

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a deal Wednesday afternoon that averts a government shutdown and sets spending limits for two years.

“I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement. I want to thank my friend the Democratic Leader for joining me this afternoon, and for the productive discussions that generated this proposal,” McConnell, standing alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among Congressional leaders and the White House. No one would suggest it is perfect. But we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people.”

The announcement comes shortly after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday on the House floor that she will vote against any budget caps deal if Speaker of the House Paul Ryan does not commit to bringing an immigration bill to the House floor for a vote. House lawmakers are currently considering a deal that does not include a legislative fix for the 620,000-800,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Ryan is adamant that neither he nor the Republican House caucus will put forth a bill in the House that is not in-line with the president’s stance on immigration, a likely reference to chain migration–the key issue in the ongoing immigration debate in Congress.

Pelosi is using a similar tactic that Schumer used last month, when he and Senate Democrats shutdown the federal government for three days in order to get a commitment on an immigration vote from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell was able to end the shutdown in January by promising Senate Democrats he will bring an immigration bill to the Senate floor before the end of February.

House leadership could have some trouble getting such a large budget deal through. Conservative fiscal policy hawks aren’t going to like the size and scope of the bill, which is expected to balloon federal spending roughly $300 billion.

Since fiscal hawks could give leadership some headaches, leadership may need to whip a few Democrats behind the deal. Democrats, like Pelosi has already shown, will assuredly use that leverage to force a commitment from Ryan and others on an immigration vote in the near future.

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