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U.S. lawmakers seek budget breakthrough on eve of shutdown deadline

11 February 2018

The bill came as the result of a 2011 standoff over the USA debt ceiling, when Republicans in Congress demanded spending cuts in exchange for giving the Obama administration the needed legal headroom to pay the federal government's obligations to its bondholders.

The House narrowly passed a sweeping bipartisan budget accord Friday morning, ending an hours-long government shutdown and clearing a path for huge spending increases for both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of NY have both championed the agreement as a bipartisan breakthrough that would end the destabilizing cycle of short-term spending bills that lawmakers have had to pass repeatedly to keep the lights on at government agencies.

Federal funding for government services had expired at midnight (05:00 GMT).

Passage of the plan would ease the brinkmanship over spending that roils Washington so regularly that financial markets barely flinch anymore at the threat of a government shutdown.

Senate leaders said earlier on Tuesday that they were close to a two-year budget deal.

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"I'm optimistic that very soon we'll be able to reach an agreement", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday, referring to the two-year budget deal they were discussing.

However, the Senate deal does not resolve the issue of immigration, a key point for house Democrats.

Senate leaders reached a long-term budget deal to fund the government on Wednesday - despite President Trump's desires for a government shutdown and a showdown on immigration.

"We would have to study the impact, but this was something that to my understanding came in from the Senate side, so we were not, how shall I say it diplomatically, consulted much". The Senate will take up the issue next week. He called it "the best thing we've done" for the middle class and the economy. Trump said speaking to law enforcement panel.

"This bill is a product of extensive negotiations among congressional leaders and the White House".

The spending bill would modify the discretionary spending caps enforced by the Budget Control Act for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

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Even so, most everyone in Congress believed that the bill had enough votes to pass the House, even among Democrats.

The rebellion that simmered among Republicans and Democrats over the budget agreement boiled over when a determined Paul brought the Senate's work to a halt.

Minority leader Nancy Pelosi delivered a record-breaking eight hour speech, demanding that the House speaker hold a vote on a separate bill. And it would increase the government's borrowing cap to prevent a first-ever default on US obligations that looms in just a few weeks.

Adding the budget caps deal, along with other possible items like disaster aid, could make the spending package more attractive.

Still, Democrats protested that the bill doesn't include a solution for America's so-called "Dreamers" - the illegal immigrants brought here when they were young. Trump said a shutdown is worth it for our country.

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U.S. lawmakers seek budget breakthrough on eve of shutdown deadline