Even with the momentum spurred by the two-year budget deal reached in the Senate Wednesday, Congress still needs to pass a continuing resolution (CR) by midnight to avoid the second partial government shutdown in three weeks. The Senate is expected to vote first on the plan that would lift the discretionary caps on defense and domestic spending by a total of $296 billion in fiscal 2018 and 2019, clearing it Thursday afternoon or evening, reported the Washington Post. The package also would include a CR and host of other provisions, including $89 billion in disaster relief and a suspension of the nation’s debt limit through March 1, 2019. The House then would have just hours to clear the measure before the midnight deadline.
While passage is all but certain in the Senate, it’s not 100 percent clear where the votes will come from to put the bill over the top in the House. Opposition to the budget agreement from fiscal conservatives over the huge spending increases for domestic accounts means approval likely will require some level of Democratic support. But Democrats are unhappy the package fails to address President Trump’s move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program next month. At press time, it appeared that while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a contingent of Democrats would oppose the budget deal unless they are able to secure a guaranteed vote on immigration legislation, some members of the party would back the legislation.
Photo by the Architect of the Capitol