Democrats Using Defense as Leverage in Spending Talks


Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is criticizing Democrats for attempting to tie immigration reform to budget talks that may lead to the government shutting down tomorrow.  “The defense budget is being held hostage for DACA, which is not a deadline that expires tomorrow,” Ryan said.

The House will vote today on a continuing resolution that will keep the government open.  The Republican leadership’s bill will keep the government funded until February 16.  Democrats are largely opposed to it, and so are some Republican defense hawks.

Defense hawks want to see large increases in defense spending in any long-term budget deal.  But in order for those increases to take place, strict spending caps on defense, as well as most other federal programs, need to be lifted.  Those caps were part of a 2011 budget deal called the Sequester.

Democrats appear to be using the defense spending as leverage on immigration.  The White House, as well as most Capitol Hill Republicans, have expressed a desire to see a permanent solution to DACA implemented.  Ryan has said that the deadline Republicans are operating on with regards to the expiration of DACA is March 5, not tomorrow.



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