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McConnell: Worked to find common ground on deal

McConnell: Worked to find common ground on deal

USA lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on a budget plan that would keep the federal government funded for two years and avoid another shutdown.

The agreement would give the Pentagon an $80 billion increase for the current budget year for core defense programs, a 14 percent increase over current limits that exceeds President Trump's request by $26 billion.

It also includes more than $89 billion in relief for states hit by a recent spate of hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

"I hope we can build on this bipartisan momentum and make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress, for our constituents and for the country we all love".

Senate leaders in the US have reportedly reached a two-year budget agreement to resolve a months-long impasse over spending levels.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later tried to clarify the statement, insisting Trump was not seeking for a shutdown.

The Senate is expected to rewrite the measure by stripping out military funding and including leadership language on spending caps before passing it and sending it back for House approval by Thursday.

Fiscal conservatives like the Freedom Caucus, have also indicated they will vote against the deal due to the increase in new government spending. The narrow 51-seat Senate Republican majority must rely on Democratic support to reach the 60-vote threshold for passage.

Frontier will offer flights from LI to San Juan, Myrtle Beach
The regional airport has seen a significant financial turnaround in recent years, ending 2017 with a almost $3 million surplus. When the service begins, Frontier will operate the only nonstop flight between Charleston and Austin and Trenton.

The overall spending numbers had been a sticking point for months, and negotiations grew even rougher after Democrats insisted the spending debate be coupled with immigration.

"There will be billions in funding to fight opioids, to strengthen our veterans and the (National Institutes of Health), to build job-creating rural infrastructure and broadband, and to fund access to child care and quality higher education", Pelosi said.

All told, the Republican-controlled Congress is on track to approve about $400 billion in new spending over next two years, just months after enacting a almost $1.5 trillion tax cut.

The agreement includes an additional four-year extension of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, on top of the six-year extension that Congress approved last month, Schumer said.

President Trump has demanded funding for the border wall be included in any legislation to address a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which expires March 5.

But now, with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, it looks likely that the GOP's two most signifcant legislative achievements will be a tax reform law that raises the deficit by $1.5 trillion and a spending deal that increases the federal tab by hundreds of billions more. "While I obviously cannot guarantee any outcomes, let alone supermajority support, I can ensure the process is fair to all sides", McConnell said.

"It just paralyzes everything that we do", he said. Ryan has said he will observe the so-called "Hastert Rule" of not calling any legislation that does not have the support of a majority of Republicans.


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