Two-Year Budget Deal Still Elusive After Administration, Capitol Hill Negotiations

Two-Year Budget Deal Still Elusive After Administration, Capitol Hill Negotiations

Senior White House officials met with top congressional leaders Wednesday to resume negotiations toward reaching a comprehensive deal on spending limits but left at a stalemate on overall spending to avoid another government shutdown this fall, Politico reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with Acting White House Chief of Staff Mitch Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Acting Management and Budget Office Director Ross Voight to discuss a two-year agreement.

However, the meeting ended after failing to agree on topline funding allocation, raising new doubts over their ability to avert another fiscal crisis later this year, according to Roll Call.

The negotiations stalemate prompted Republicans to turn to a one-year continuing resolution to increase domestic spending and halt steep budget cuts from a potential sequester this fall.

“We are taking sequester off the table,” Mnuchin said after the meeting. “We are prepared to do a one-year CR with a one-year debt ceiling. The president has every intention of keeping the government open.”

After the meeting, Democrats blamed Republican leaders hesitance to set a limit without approval from President Donald Trump. Republicans countered that they didn’t receive serious offer to reach agreement, and later Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) dismissed a one-year deal.

“A one-year CR is bad policy, it’s bad politics and it’s a fallback,” he said. “We should be negotiating a bill. We want to do better.”

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