Senate Leaders Reach Deal to Raise Spending over Two Years


“Without that commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus,” Ms. Pelosi said on the House floor, where she spoke at length about Dreamers on Wednesday.

She was referring to a promise by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to begin debate on immigration soon, a commitment not matched by Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

But Mr. Ryan did not rush to offer the assurance that Ms. Pelosi sought.

“Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill — one that the president supports,” a spokeswoman for Mr. Ryan, AshLee Strong, said, referring to the Obama-era program that shields Dreamers from deportation, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The budget deal would be paired with a stopgap spending measure that would keep federal agencies open past Thursday, when the current funding measure is set to expire.


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It was not immediately clear if enough Democrats would oppose the bill to imperil its passage in the House, given the likely opposition from at least some fiscal conservatives. If lawmakers cannot pass a temporary funding measure by the end of Thursday — either by itself or tied to a budget pact — the government would shut down for the second time this year.

The budget agreement would also negate the president’s demands to broadly reorder government with deep cuts to domestic programs like environmental protection, foreign aid, and health research that were to offset large increases in military spending. Mr. Trump is to release his second budget request on Monday, but the deal — sealed by members of his own party — would effectively render many of his demands null and void.

If the deal passes, lawmakers would put together a long-term spending package over the coming weeks that would fund the government through September, granting a measure of peace to Washington as attention turns to the midterm elections in November. By setting overall spending levels through September 2019, the deal would ease passage of spending bills in the next fiscal year as well.

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Only on Tuesday, President Trump was trying to engage in fiscal brinkmanship, threatening another government shutdown if his hard-line demands on immigration were not met.


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“I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of,” Mr. Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers and law enforcement officials to discuss gang violence. “If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don’t want safety,” he added, “then shut it down.”

But budget negotiators seemed to pay him little heed. The deal had eluded negotiators for months, as it became intertwined with delicate negotiations on other matters, particularly the contentious issue of immigration.

But after last month’s three-day government shutdown, Senate Democrats were willing to finalize a budget deal separately from the debate over immigration.

The deal also makes for another lonely day for lawmakers concerned about the budget deficit, which was already expected to reach $1 trillion in the next fiscal year, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group.

The sweeping tax overhaul approved by Congress in December is projected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade, and the budget agreement will balloon the deficit even further.

Jenny Beth Martin, chairwoman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, assailed the emerging deal, citing the size of the national debt.

“When will our so-called ‘Republican leaders’ ever learn to stick by their promises and previous statements?” she asked. “Republicans in Congress should step away from Chuck Schumer’s negotiating table and work to pass a budget that balances by making tough choices and eliminates our more than $20 trillion in debt. Anything less would be an abandonment of their promises to the American people.”

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