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Congressional leaders forge budget deal that adds to deficit

Congressional leaders forge budget deal that adds to deficit

If Congress passes the budget, it will head to the desk of U.S. President Donald Trump for his approval, ending months of temporary spending bills and ending a second government shutdown of this year.

Sen. Rand Paul, a conservative Kentucky Republican and one-time presidential contender, temporarily blocked a Senate vote on a sweeping bipartisan budget deal on Thursday - a move that could force Congress to miss a midnight funding deadline and trigger a partial government shutdown. "I want them to have to answer people at home who said, 'How come you were against President Obama's deficits and then how come you're for Republican deficits?'"

"Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits", he said.

"I can't in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits", Paul said on the Senate floor as evening pushed into night.

"No one would suggest it is ideal but we worked hard to find common ground", said Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

While Senate Democrats celebrated the rare moment of bipartisanship - Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a "genuine breakthrough" - progressives and activists blasted them for leaving immigrants in limbo.

Beyond $300 billion worth of record increases for the military and domestic programs, the agreement adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government's borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions. Under Trump's order past year, DACA was set to end March 5, but a court challenge is allowing it to continue for now.

Congress has to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, when a one-month spending bill is set to expire.

More news: Mike Pence refuses to look North Korean leader in the eye

In addition to Paul's objections, it is also unclear whether enough House Democrats will support the package. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will bring to the floor an immigration bill that Trump supports.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) said Thursday that a vote for the proposed congressional budget deal is a vote to deport illegal immigrants brought to the U.S.by their parents.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-some Republicans, including Biggs and Jordan, said it does not support the deal. With the budget debate resolved for the near future, including a two-year agreement on the debt ceiling, Democrats are left with virtually no muscle, at least until the midterm elections.

The agreement would give the Pentagon an $80 billion increase for the current budget year for core defense programs, a 14 percent increase over current limits and $26 billion more than Trump's budget request.

How could one senator potentially cause a government shutdown?

"This bill does not address the great moral issue of our time - the fact that in three weeks 800,000 young Dreamers will lose their legal status and be subject to deportation", said Sen.

Many House Democrats initially withheld their votes, but more than 70 voted yes in the end to help Republicans get the measure across the finish line. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has their sights much higher: taking 101 House seats from Republicans come November.

The measure does not include anything about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, which protects from deportation numerous almost 800,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children.


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