Congress readies to vote on budget deal; Corker opposes

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It was the fifth such stopgap of the federal fiscal year, which began on Oct 1.

Making an appearance in the White House briefing room, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he felt happy that Congress recognises the "sobering effect" of budgetary uncertainty on America's military and on the men and women who provide for the nation's defence.

He also said that the deal has the support of the White House, although he did not provide any specifics in that regard, Efe reported. It would contain nearly $300 billion over current limits on defense and domestic accounts. However, it does not include funding for border security or deal with protecting young illegal migrants brought to the United States as children.

Last month, the government shut down for three days in a dispute over undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids, reopening when Senate Democrats accepted assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would hold a floor debate on immigration this month.

The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Tuesday evening, according to House majority leader Kevin McCarthy's schedule. "If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety. let's shut it down".

Washington, Feb.9 (AP): The House has narrowly passed a sweeping bipartisan budget accord, ending an hours long government shutdown and clearing a path for huge spending increases for both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

Congressional Democrats have consistently opposed treating non-defense and defense programs differently in government funding bills, dimming such a package's prospects in the Senate, where Republicans will need Democrats' support to pass a bill.

Passage of the plan would ease the brinkmanship over spending that roils Washington so regularly that financial markets barely flinch anymore at the threat of a government shutdown.

"I don't think that's going to happen", McConnell said about the prospects of a shutdown.

President Trump tweeted his thumbs-up for a bipartisan budget deal hatched by Senate leaders Wednesday, signaling to House conservatives they should get behind the compromise.

That was a turnaround from Tuesday, when Mr Trump had said he would "love" a shutdown if he did not get his way on immigration.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said, "This agreement will also allow us to step off this carousel of short-term funding bills that do nothing but hurt our military and stymie our ability to be able to focus on other important agenda items".

Negotiators are scrambling to strike a deal as the clock ticks toward the Thursday night deadline to keep the government funded. Congress has until Thursday to pass a deal to fund the government or face another government shutdown.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he and McConnell "worked well together for the good of the American people".

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