Senate leaders announce budget deal with huge spending increases

NATION-NOW     On Politics Today And hours to go before I shut down     
       The government might actually shut down tonight On Politics Today

Pence is in South Korea, where he is leading the USA delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who backs the bill, predicted the Republican-controlled House would pass it. The House will not vote on the deal until the Senate approves it.

The federal Office of Personnel Management said government operations would "vary by agency" and employees should "refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty".

The Senate approved the measure earlier on Friday morning.

And, Osborne also said, he continues to believe the House can adopt a two-year state budget before the end of February, perhaps as soon as mid-February.

Frustrations mounted - and the risk of a shutdown increased - as GOP Sen.

The California Democrat's remarks potentially jeopardize the prospects that Congress will pass legislation this week preventing a government shutdown starting after midnight Thursday.

The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has endorsed the contents of the agreement, calling on lawmakers of both parties to "support our troops and support this Bill!"

Paul is protesting that the bill would usher in the return of trillion-dollar budget deficits.

"I think we will", Ryan said on Hewitt's radio show earlier Thursday. A House vote would follow, but it's possible that federal agencies will have to implement temporary shutdown plans if clearing the funding bill takes too long.

What happens in a U.S. government shutdown?

Pence is set to lead the USA delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday evening.

It is not yet clear how Congress will proceed and how public services may be affected on Friday.

White House officials say the trip's diplomatic and national security aims - which revolve around highlighting North Korea's human rights abuses and nuclear program - meet the criteria for critical spending during a lapse in federal funding.

As for Paul's famous lawn fight, federal prosecutors said last month they are seeking a 21-month prison sentence for the man they said tackled him in a dispute over a pile of brush.

In the meantime, Congress is also working on a short-term spending measure to keep the government open past a Thursday night deadline. "Are you kidding me?" asked Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville.

"That's not true", Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is holding up action in the Senate, demanding a vote to cut back the measure's spending totals.

Inside the meeting, Ryan told members that the domestic spending would be focused on areas that have broad bipartisan support, such as medical research, infrastructure and veterans' health care - a pitch that appeared to win over some members. The aide requested anonymity because leadership deliberations are secret.

This sweeping agreement does not, however, address immigration, sidestepping the issue that led to a government shutdown last month.

Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah, has said the pieces of HB 7055 have been heard separately in committees and that the budget measure was appropriate because portions of the bill would significantly change the formula for the way per-student funding is calculated, meaning the two are inextricably linked. Lawmakers are facing a midnight deadline to keep the government open.

Paul was able to use Senate rules on Thursday to his advantage to delay the vote, much to the frustration of his fellow members.

For that to happen, the plan must also be passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president.

Paul has been on and off the Senate floor outlining his objections to the Senate budget deal for hours. "I talk to our budget folks every day and they feel very good about where things are".

"Let Congress work its will", Pelosi said.

While Senate Democrats celebrated the moment of rare bipartisanship - Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a "genuine breakthrough" - progressives and activists blasted them for leaving immigrants in legislative limbo. Paul brushed off the pressure.

Paul objected after a visibly irritated McConnell tried to move to a vote.

"Not only will it end this series of. fiscal crises that have gridlocked this body, it will also deliver a large investment in our military and robust funding of middle-class programs", the Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer told colleagues.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is telling House Democrats to "do what you want to do" as the chamber approaches a vote on a bipartisan budget deal that would avert a government shutdown after midnight.

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