Senate to Vote on Two-Year Budget Deal

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a two-year budget deal that would substantially increase spending and suspend the debt ceiling for a year, The Hill reported. The agreement, which aims to avert a second government shutdown this year, would lift spending caps put in place at federal agencies by Congress in 2011.

The proposal would add $4 billion in new money for student aid, according to a brief summary document circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday, and boost spending on the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion, reported Inside Higher Ed. The budget deal does not include a legislative fix for young undocumented immigrants, known as 'Dreamers,' who have faced uncertainty over their status following President Trump's decision in September to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The passage of the plan is not guaranteed. House leaders will have to corral support after it passes the Senate, according to Inside Higher Ed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had insisted that DACA would not be included in a budget deal but also promised to schedule floor time for the issue after a budget deal was reached. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday that although the budget deal includes many Democratic priorities—including "billions in funding to fight opioids, to strengthen our veterans and the NIH, to build job-creating rural infrastructure and broadband, and to fund access to childcare and quality higher education"—she cannot support it without a similar commitment for a floor vote on DACA from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).


Related Links

The Hill

Inside Higher Ed