Republicans: Budget deal prospects are dimming

Congressional Republicans and White House officials are increasingly skeptical that they’ll reach a long-term budget agreement with Democrats in the next 11 days, accusing progressives of slow-walking a spending deal until they get what they want on immigration.

Party leaders from both sides of the aisle have been quietly working to raise stiff spending caps to avert a government shutdown before Jan. 19, when federal agency funding runs dry.

But Republicans claim Democrats won’t back a long-term spending plan until Congress agrees to shield hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gave safe harbor to “Dreamers,” formally ends March 5, although some immigrants have already started losing their protections.

Yet Democrats and Republicans are still far apart on border security and other immigration provisions that would be needed to clinch a deal on the matter.

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