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Congress readies for contentious spending vote

by Evan Wilt
Posted 2/08/18, 01:10 pm

WASHINGTON—The Senate plans to vote on a bipartisan budget agreement Thursday, but the deal’s final passage remains uncertain. On Tuesday, the House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government until March 23 and avoid a government shutdown. On Wednesday, leaders from both parties and chambers agreed to a long-term budget proposal that would increase spending over the next two years by about $300 billion, giving both sides some of what they wanted. The Senate attached the two-year budget agreement to the six-week continuing resolution and expects it to pass easily, sending it back to the House, which passed a short-term spending bill Tuesday evening. But the Senate bill’s future in the lower chamber remains rocky. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday she likes the final product but not the process, and plans to vote against it unless House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., follows the lead of his Senate counterpart and commits to holding a bipartisan debate on immigration legislation. Ryan stopped short of granting Pelosi’s request and said Thursday he’s committed to bringing an immigration bill to the floor that President Donald Trump would support. House Democratic leaders then began telling their members to oppose the Senate bill, jeopardizing its passage. Meanwhile, fiscal hawks in the House hate the two-year budget plan because it does nothing to reign in government spending and adds to the federal deficit. Congress has until midnight Thursday to pass a spending bill before a lapse in federal funding causes a government shutdown.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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