Pelosi calls spending bill 'good' -- but still isn't voting for it

Architect of the Capitol

Architect of the Capitol

In the early morning hours, U.S. Senate Republicans and Democrats were able to agree on a budget deal to reopen the federal government.

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi highlighted the approach Wednesday with an extraordinary day-long address-the Chamber's longest in more than a century-to her House colleagues in which she read dozens of testimonials from "Dreamers" and called on Ryan to take action on immigration.

"We support funding our troops, but growing the size of government by 13 per cent is not what the voters sent us here to do", the conservative House Freedom Caucus said late on Wednesday.

McConnell and Schumer said the deal was the product of extensive negotiations between both parties and the White House, which reacted positively to developments on Capitol Hill. "I can't in all good honesty and all good faith just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits".

The House voted 245-182 to pass its bill, which holds most domestic spending at current levels through March 23.

"This spending bill is a debt junkie's dream".

Extends certain tax provisions, including from the new GOP tax law, and edits some parts of the tax code.

Charles and David Koch, the two billionaire brothers, who have heavily bankrolled many conservative causes and Republican campaigns, put out a statement saying that the budget deal was "a betrayal of American taxpayers and a display of the absolute unwillingness of members of Congress to adhere to any sort of responsible budgeting behavior". Government funding expires Thursday at midnight.

The legislation is expected to pass in the Senate, given the support of leadership.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the measure amounts to "doubling down on the irresponsible mentality in Congress of spend-now-pay-later". He noted that the bill is almost 700 pages long, nobody in the Senate has read it, and it will add more than a trillion dollars to the deficit. But after surveying the Democratic caucus, she said the absence of immigration legislation was a deal breaker for some members.

As a massive bipartisan budget deal moved towards a vote Thursday, temperatures were rising on the left, where Democrats were fuming that - once again - immigration was being left behind.

The government has until midnight to pass a bipartisan budget deal that would increase spending by $300 billion over the next two years.

It's filled with long-stalled or long-sought priorities for both sides. "It will help us serve the veterans who've bravely served us, and it will ensure funding for important efforts such as disaster relief, infrastructure, and building on our work to fight opioid abuse". And about $90 billion more would be spent on disaster aid for victims of recent hurricanes and wildfires.

The second thing is that Republicans, who blasted any and all nondefense spending in the Obama era, have effectively embraced red ink under Trump [WaPo]: "Republican lawmakers in 2011 brought the USA government to the brink of default, refused to raise the debt ceiling, demanded huge spending cuts, and insisted on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget". Ryan's baseline has never changed - he'll take up a deal to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when he knows what Trump supports. His spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, reiterated that the speaker would only bring up immigration legislation that the president supports.

When asked by a reporter if she would vote for the bill, she said no.

"Go out and holler, guys, go out and holler, you are going to win back the House!" "It's not pretty", Republican U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger said on CNN. "I will make them listen to me, and they will have to have me listened to", Paul said.

Pelosi's hard line reflects a mix of the political and parochial. But he fell short of the unconditional guarantee that many Democrats demand.

President Donald Trump is applauding a budget deal reached by Senate leaders Wednesday.

Schumer said he hopes that House Speaker Paul Ryan will do what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to do and hold a "fair and open process" to debate a measure to protect young "Dreamer" immigrants.

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