US Senate leaders reach long-term, bipartisan budget deal to avert shutdown

The budget agreement negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calls for a $63 billion increase in domestic spending and $80 billion more for defense spending.

The house voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn, hours after the senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote. That effort could delay a Senate vote until 1 a.m. Friday, past the deadline for keeping the government open. Lawmakers need to work out a spending measure before Thursday to prevent another government shutdown.

Citing national security concerns, the White House on Friday formally notified the House intelligence committee that President Donald Trump is "unable" to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats that counters GOP allegations about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

The budget agreement is attached to a six-week temporary funding bill needed to keep the government operating and to provide time to implement the budget pact.

Schumer said the budget also includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse, $5.8 billion for affordable healthcare for working families, $4 billion that aid college completion and affordability; a 10 percent increase in funding for healthcare including community health centers; and relief for dairy farmers.

Leading up to the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged her members to vote against the bill but also urged them to hold their votes back, forcing Republicans to show their strength.

Trump plans to end that program, which protects illegal immigrants brought to the children, next month unless Congress acts. The White House said in a statement that he will sign it into law, which would extend government funding through March 23.

However, the Senate deal does not resolve the issue of immigration, a key point for house Democrats. But congressional Democrats and Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who helped draft the GOP memo, have said it shouldn't be used to undermine the special counsel.

Paul took to the Senate floor many times Thursday refusing to agree to move up the time for a vote in the chamber on the bill, which requires unanimous consent from all 100 senators.

"It's a good deal", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said. She said the president only wants wants a long term deal on immigration.

"The ... caucus opposes the deal to raise spending caps on discretionary spending by almost $300 billion over two years", the roughly 30-member group said Wednesday.

"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", he said on the Senate floor.

"Nobody wants a shutdown", Pelosi told the House moments before the vote. Those conservatives were mainly angry about non-military spending increases.

"This is a bipartisan bill", the Wisconsin Republican said.

Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said he also won't support the bill and predicted other Democrats would also vote no.

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