US House passes stopgap bill to avert shutdown | world news | Hindustan Times
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US House passes stopgap bill to avert shutdown

Talks are underway for a two-year budget deal that would significantly boost defence and domestic spending.

world Updated: Feb 07, 2018 22:01 IST
HT Correspondent
The US Capitol Building is seen at dusk in Washington, DC, February 6, 2018, as lawmakers work to avert a government shutdown later this week.
The US Capitol Building is seen at dusk in Washington, DC, February 6, 2018, as lawmakers work to avert a government shutdown later this week.(AFP Photo)

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a short-term spending measure to keep the federal government funded beyond the looming Friday deadline, even as talks were underway for a two-year budget deal that would significantly boost defence and domestic spending.

As negotiations continued, Republicans and Democrats said they were confident of clinching a long-term budget deal.

“I’m optimistic that very soon we’ll be able to reach an agreement,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. His Democratic counterpart, Chuck Schumer, said, “I am very hopeful that we can come to an agreement, an agreement very soon.”

Indian IT workers on H-1B work visa who are waiting for their Green Card were hoping to insert themselves into the immigration debate, which is focussed on citizenship for Dreamers — undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

There are an estimated 690,000 Dreamers. Trump has offered to give citizenship to more than double that number — 1.8 million — in return for a tougher security along the border, including a wall along the Mexican border and an end to the visa lottery system and chain migration, to be replaced by a merit-based system.

A group of Indians protested outside the White House, demanding that they get a better deal. Another group is planning an outreach over the coming weekend.

Immigration Voice — an advocacy group comprising H-1B visa holders with approved Green Card petitions — visited the congressional office earlier this week. It has offered $4 billion as processing fee for Green Cards that could be used by the Trump administration to build the proposed border wall.