Top U.S. congressional Republican and Democrat say a deal has been reached on spending

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., attend a Menorah lighting to celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. 

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The top Republican and Democrat in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday said they had reached a deal to keep the government funded through the rest of the fiscal year that began in October, setting off a race to pass it before a weekend shutdown deadline.

The last sticking point was funding for the Department of Homeland Security, as a surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has become a major issue in the election rematch between Democratic President Joe Biden and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed the agreement in a pair of statements on Tuesday morning.

The actual legislative text of the agreement, which must be finalized before lawmakers can vote on it, is still being completed. Current House rules require that lawmakers have three days to consider legislation before bringing it to the floor.

The package was expected to cover about three-quarters of discretionary government spending, due to come in at about $1.66 trillion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. It contains funding for functions including the U.S. military, transportation, housing and food safety.

But more fights lie ahead as the nation’s $34.5 trillion national debt continues to grow. Biden and House Republicans earlier this month laid out proposed budgets for the next fiscal year, which begins in October, that offered sharply contrasting priorities.

Johnson so far has also refused to bring up for a vote a $95 billion foreign security aid package that includes money that advocates say is urgently needed for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The Senate approved the measure with bipartisan support and is thought to have significant backing in the House if members were given a chance to vote.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been fighting since early last year on funding levels amid a push by hardline House Republicans to cut more spending than had been agreed to in a bipartisan deal enacted into law last June.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top