Feb 7, 2018

Senate budget deal would bust budget caps, raise debt limit

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talks with communications director Matt House following weekly policy luncheon at Capitol yesterday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

It seems increasingly likely that a debt-ceiling increase will be attached to a budget deal that Senate negotiators from both sides hope to announce as soon as today.

The big picture: This means DACA will likely be dealt with — or not — on its own terms and not used as a hostage in a government shutdown stare-down.

  •  The two-year deal I expect McConnell and Schumer to strike: busting the budget caps on defense and domestic spending, raising the debt limit, plus funding for disaster relief and funding for community health centers.
  • Why it matters: That would be a pretty good deal for President Trump. Sure, the fiscal conservatives will hate it, but Trump has never been one of them.
  • The deal would expose the gap between Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: She wanted to hitch the immigration deal to the spending fight, while Schumer appears OK with allowing it to be separate.

How it's playing: WashPost lead story: "Senators say deal on budget is in sight" ... Wall Street Journal A1: "Senators Close In on a Budget Deal."

Go deeper

Axios Dashboard

Keep up with breaking news throughout the day — sign up for our alerts.

Energy deputy secretary nominee in hot water after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."

Exclusive: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World