Bipartisan agreement could still face blowback in the House Feb 09, 2018 0 204 12345 AFPWASHINGTONUS lawmakers braced for crunch votes on Thursday on a deal to keep the federal government open past a midnight deadline, as rebellion simmered among both Republicans and Democrats over the bipartisan budget agreement struck to end the logjam.Senators were expected to take up and pass the breakthrough bill later Thursday, and then send it to the House of Representatives -- which will barely have time to debate it before government funding expires at midnight.The measure's fate in the House is uncertain, raising tensions in Washington as Congress scrambles to avoid what would be a second government shutdown in three weeks.With party unity fraying in the lower chamber over the deal, House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared to shrug off concerns that several Republicans might oppose the deal.Earlier Thursday, the Senate voted to block a separate defense spending measure -- that also included short-term federal funding -- largely because it failed to fund domestic programs along with the military.So it will now take up a revised six-week temporary spending bill that includes the major budget deal struck Wednesday between Senate leaders on both sides of the political aisle.That agreement includes a significant $300 billion increase to both military and non-military spending limits for this year and 2019, and raises the debt ceiling until March 1 next year.That would break the cycle of showdowns over government funding in time for what is expected to be a bruising campaign season ahead of November's mid-term elections.The bill also provides a massive $90 billion in disaster relief following deadly 2017 storms in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, and funding to address the nationwide opioid abuse crisis."Not only will it end this series of... fiscal crises that have gridlocked this body, it will also deliver a large investment in our military and robust funding of middle-class programs,"the Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer told colleagues."It's a strong signal that we can break the gridlock that has overwhelmed this body and work together for the good of the country."The measure is widely expected to pass the Senate, but could face stiff blowback in the House, where fiscal conservatives may balk at adding billions of dollars to the national debt two months after passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut package.On Wednesday, the House Freedom Caucus of far-right Republicans foretold possible roadblocks ahead, officially opposing the budget caps deal. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Rio's carnival gets underway with dancing -- and politics Feb 09, 2018 0 338 Cuba grants visa to senior US diplomat to lead Havana embassy Feb 09, 2018 0 236 Top Trump aide quits after battery of allegations Feb 09, 2018 0 584 Russia meddled in US election: George W Bush REUTERS ABU DHABI Former US president George W Bush accused Russia on Thursday of meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a"brilliant tactician". Bush, interviewed on .. Canadian PM reiterates on NAFTA: no deal 'better'than bad deal AFP CHICAGO CANADA'S Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated on Wednesday during a US visit that he is willing to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement if renegotiation fails to produce a deal he can .. Canadian sub makes first trip to Asia-Pacific in 50 years OTTAWA A Canadian submarine has crossed the Pacific to patrol off the Asian coast for the first time in nearly 50 years, the navy said on Thursday, amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons .. Venezuela presidential vote set for April 22 CARACAS Venezuela's electoral council has set April 22 as the date for a controversial presidential election, which the opposition accuses President Nicolas Maduro of using to engineer a second term for himself. ..