Senate Leaders Agree on Two-Year Budget Deal

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest