Senate Leaders Agree on Two-Year Budget Deal

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I guess we have a deal to avoid a government shutdown:

Senate leaders, disregarding President Trump’s threats to shut down the government, struck a far-reaching agreement on Wednesday that would set spending levels on military and domestic spending for the next two years, breaking the cycle of fiscal crises that have bedeviled the Capitol since last summer.

There’s more money for the military, more money for domestic programs, and of course, Mitch McConnell’s promise that he’ll allow a vote on an immigration bill in the Senate. However, Nancy Pelosi announced that she opposed the deal unless Paul Ryan would agree to allow a similar vote in the House. Unfortunately, that probably doesn’t mean anything since Ryan doesn’t need Pelosi’s support. He can pass the spending bill with just Republican votes.

The interesting part of this is that it’s a two-year deal, which means that it binds the next Congress. Apparently everyone is willing to take out a little insurance against the possibility that the other party might win control on Congress in the midterm elections.

So what happens with DACA? Good question. Presumably the Senate will vote on a bill of some kind, and if it passes it goes to the House. Then Ryan has to decide whether to allow a vote, and he says that depends on whether President Trump supports it. Since Trump has been all over the map on what he’ll support, there’s no telling what he’ll do. However, my prediction is that Republicans really don’t want this hanging over their heads. They don’t want ICE to start deporting Dreamers. So they’ll suck it up and pass a temporary DACA extension if they can, or a permanent one if Democrats won’t go along. Basically, their goal is to clear the decks for an election that will be fought cleanly on a strong economy, the war against MS-13, and not much more.¹ This deal gets them most of the way there.

¹Assuming that Trump isn’t in jail waiting for trial on obstruction of justice charges, of course.

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