Congressional leaders eyeing two-year caps deal up to $200 billion

Congressional leaders eyeing two-year caps deal up to $200 billion
© Greg Nash

Congressional leaders are eyeing a deal to raise budgetary caps by as much as $200 billion over two years.

A deal on budgetary caps will be a first step toward hammering out a spending deal for 2018.

Congressional sources tell The Hill that there is still work to do before a deal can be finalized. Democrats are clamoring to raise nondefense spending caps by the same level as defense caps.

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This week, Congress approved a defense authorization package that's $77 billion higher than the 2018 budget cap.

Government funding is set to expire on Dec. 8, and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Ironworker and star of viral video wins Dem primary for Speaker Ryan's seat Live results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut hold primaries MORE (R-Wis.) has indicated that he expects a short-term continuing resolution to extend funding to the end of the year. Without a spending deal or an extension, the government would shut down.

But current spending levels are higher than the 2018 caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Without a deal to raise the caps, continuing spending at current levels would trigger sequestration, or across-the-board spending cuts, starting in late January.

While there has been progress in talks between the White House and the so-called four corners — Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHill.TV poll: Majority of Republicans say Trump best represents the values of the GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report Republican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' MORE (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi seizes on anti-corruption message against GOP Dem mega-donor to spend M on GOTV campaign ahead of midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (D-N.Y.) — no final agreement has yet been reached.

Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMississippi courthouse named for Thad Cochran Todd Young in talks about chairing Senate GOP campaign arm US farming cannot afford to continue to fall behind MORE (R-Miss.) said Thursday that he would release a chairman's mark of the four appropriations bill the committee has still not taken up.

“A budget agreement is necessary for the Senate to approve responsible appropriations legislation. I urge all parties to those negotiations to redouble their efforts to reach agreement,” he said in a written statement.