Senate Leaders Reach Two-Year Bipartisan Deal

Washington DC National Capitol Building

The deal arrives after President Trump encouraged another shutdown if his hardline immigration demands were not met, but it appears that McConnell and Schumer are trying to keep the government chugging along, at least for the time being. Conservatives in the House are also expected to balk at a deal that raises spending by $300 billion over the next two years. It also would provide hurricane and wildfire disaster aid.

With just hours to go before current federal funding expires, the effort stalled in the Senate when one lawmaker blocked a quick vote on the compromise bill, which includes a major budget deal that lifts federal spending limits.

After meeting with his Republican caucus Tuesday, McConnell reiterated his commitment to a full floor debate but did not say whether Trump's immigration blueprint would serve as a starting point, or whether the chamber would consider a more limited bipartisan proposal addressing DACA and border security.

"If the Senate comes back with something that we feel like is best for the American people, then yeah, we're not opposed to it", Rep. Mark Walker, chair fo the Republican Study Committee told Business Insider.

Senator Chuck Schumer said negotiators are "making significant progress" on a spending deal.

"No one would suggest it's ideal, but we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people", McConnell said Wednesday. "If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety ... let's shut it down".

Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has been holding a marathon speech on Wednesday, demanding legal status for immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children.

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Meanwhile, Senate Democrats said the deal would help fund infrastructure projects, as well as support mental health services and programmes to tackle the country's ongoing opioid drug crisis. It funds the government for six weeks and raises federal budget caps for two years, with the increase divided nearly equally between defense spending ($165 billion) and domestic spending ($131 billion).

Alongside his own announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his pledge to hold a vote on legislation to protect almost 700,000 unauthorized immigrants ahead of DACA's March 5 expiration deadline in a process he said would be "fair to all sides".

"I am pleased to announce that we have reached a two-year budget deal", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Democrats had been demanding "parity" as part of the deal, meaning that domestic spending gets the same increase the defense spending gets as part of any deal. The agreement is likely to be added to a stopgap spending bill that passed the House on Tuesday and is aimed at averting a government shutdown Thursday at midnight. But the plan still needs to pass the House, where it's already facing strong headwinds.

Lawmakers need to work out a spending measure before Thursday to prevent another government shutdown.

Democrats had previously insisted that any budget legislation must address immigration, including specific protection for young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

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