Top Senate Democrat welcomes funding deal

Adjust Comment Print

Congressional Republicans and Democrats have forged a hard-won agreement on a huge one trillion dollar-plus (£800 billion) spending bill that would fund the day-to-day operations of the U.S. government through to September.

"This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-.NY., said in a statement.

Congressional negotiators are close to a deal on a bill to fund the government through the end of September, a congressional source confirmed to CNN on Sunday evening.

Congress, facing a May 5 deadline, will vote this week on the $1.5 trillion spending package.

The plan would add billions for the Pentagon and border security, although not provide any money for President Donald Trump's promised border wall with Mexico.

The White House last week dropped its demand for immediate funding for the border wall after Democrats said it would result in a government shutdown because they would not vote for any bill that included it.

It was unclear whether Republicans might try this week to pass a healthcare bill in the house.

Congressional negotiators had been working through the weekend to hash out the last remaining complications in a bill to fund the government.

Nashville Predators complete sweep of Chicago Blackhawks
The thing is, though, it's tough to decide how objectively bad the Blackhawks were without considering how good the Predators are. Pekka Rinne and his Nashville Predators will seek to complete the sweep over Chicago with a win in Game 4 on Thursday.

Schumer says the measure ensures that "taxpayer dollars aren't used to fund an ineffective border wall".

The full House of Representatives and Senate must still approve the bipartisan pact, which would be the first major legislation to clear Congress since Trump became president on January 20.

The deal includes $15 billion in extra funding for defense programs, half of the $30 billion that President Trump asked for in his emergency request.

The deal also gives coal miners $1.3bn in health benefits, which will be funded by a rise in customs fees. Trump said repeatedly during the campaign that Mexico would foot the bill for the wall and Mexico says it will not.

Republicans will be able to tout increases in defense and border spending, while Democrats will highlight a $2 billion increase in National Institutes of Health funding and year-round Pell grants, as opposed to grants only awarded twice per year. But one of the key aspects they agreed on was a provision for $1.5 billion for border security, including for technology and fixing existing infrastructure. These includes $295 million help towards allowing Puerto Rico make payments to Medicaid, increasing funding towards energy and science and funding $100 million to fight addictions related to opioid drugs.

If Congress is able to pass the omnibus this week, the next spending showdown is expected this fall, as they'll need to pass a new package by October 1.

The budget also includes $68 million to reimburse New York City and other local governments for protecting Trump Tower, where Trump's transition team met following the election.

Comments