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US House set for budget battle

February 8, 2018 4:14 pm

The US Congress is to vote on a bipartisan budget deal to avert another government shutdown amid stiff opposition from left and right.

The bill has angered Republican budget hawks, while Democrats are upset about the lack of an immigration concession.

Hours before federal funding expires, the Senate is expected to pass the two-year budget deal, but it faces a tougher test in the lower chamber.

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The Republican House of Representatives speaker says he believes it will pass.

“I think we will,” Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Congress has to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, when a one-month spending bill is set to expire.

Failure to pass a spending agreement led to a three-day government shutdown last month.
What’s in this bill?

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the package would increase spending by “just shy” of $300bn (£216bn).

The Washington Post puts the figure at half a trillion dollars.

The bill contains $165bn of additional defence spending and $131bn in domestic spending, including funding for healthcare, infrastructure and tackling the US opioid crisis, reports Reuters news agency.

Officials at the White House say the deal would also increase the debt ceiling until March 2019.

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