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Government 'Needs a Good Shutdown' to Fix Senate 'Mess'


Democratic leaders including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California had vowed to block a final deal -- and risk another government shutdown -- if Republicans insisted on including a down payment on the wall in the final bill.

The deal to give the Pentagon an extra $15 billion would provide the military with funding stability through September, but next year's budget request is shaping up to be an even bigger fight. "I think you're going to see conservatives have some real concerns with this legislation", Rep. Jim Jordan of OH said on CNN, citing domestic spending obtained by Democrats and other issues.

But most major legislation requires a 60-vote super majority in the 100-member chamber for approval, effectively requiring Republican and Democratic lawmakers to reach compromises.

It does not include funding for Trump's proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border or include language stripping federal money from so-called sanctuary cities, both of which the White House demanded at the outset of negotiations.

Then on Wednesday, the White House said it would not stop paying federal subsidies to health insurers that help cover low-income Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

Congress is expected to vote on the deal in the next couple of days; the government is now funded only through Friday under a temporary measure passed last week.

But Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters during a briefing that the president is on solid footing.

National polling from The Washington Post after government employees went back on the job showed that 81 per cent of Americans did not approve of the work stoppage. The administration sought some $1.4 billion in US taxpayer dollars for the wall and related costs in the spending bill, but Trump later relented and said the issue could wait until after September.

Several GOP senators, though, highlighted the spending increases to some of those programs.

Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Monday he was optimistic that the health bill can reach the House floor this week.


"This bodes well for the 2018 budget", Schumer said.

What's more, Schumer suggested the budget deal could become a template for a spending deal for fiscal 2018, noting that congressional Democrats and Republicans hammered out the deal together.

-$22.5 billion for Pell Grants, equal to a year ago.

"The president said what?" It does not include most of what the Trump administration initially asked for. And that's important 'cause this is a dynamic we will likely see again this year and potentially sooner rather than later because Congress will have to do this all over again by the end of September.

"Congress strikes budget deal that shortchanges Trump", Politico reported.

Democrats boasted of money for foreign assistance and cash-strapped Puerto Rico while winning funding for favored programs like transit projects and grants for first responders.

Trump is pressuring the House to vote on the bill this week. The impoverished island, which is a US territory, is facing a severe Medicaid funding shortfall.

The spending deal preserved funding for healthcare provider Planned Parenthood, which has drawn Republican ire because it performs abortions; for the Obamacare healthcare law; and for an array of environmental and other domestic programs Trump wanted to slash.

NASA will get an increase of $368 million, putting the agency close to $20 billion overall for 2017.

Regarding the entire spending deal, Higgins said: "All of this is very good with respect to what the White House was proposing".

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