Budget Deal to Be Voted On Before August Recess, Appropriations Discussions Continue

On Monday, congressional leadership announced a deal brokered with the White House on spending levels for FY2020. The deal would lift the nation’s debt limit for two years to avoid massive spending cuts. Leaders in both chambers have called for a vote on the deal before the August recess. While this sets top line spending numbers, Congress must still appropriate these funds to avoid another government shutdown.

The two-year deal announced by both President Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would raise spending caps by about $50 billion this year and $54 billion the following year. This move permanently ends the threat of sequestration since automatic spending cuts in the Budget Control Act expire in 2021.

“Importantly, Democrats have achieved an agreement that permanently ends the threat of the sequester,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement. “With this agreement, we strive to avoid another government shutdown, which is so harmful to meeting the needs of the American people and honoring the work of our public employees.”

The deal still must be voted on in both chambers and signed by the president in order to become law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his support for the deal and his intention to bring the legislation to the Senate floor before the August recess.

“I am very encouraged that the administration and Speaker Pelosi have reached a two-year funding agreement that secures the resources we need to keep rebuilding our armed forces… Congress and the Trump Administration have made enormous strides for our national defense over the past two years, but our work is not yet complete. While the reality of divided government means this is not exactly the deal Republicans would have written on our own, it is what we need to keep building on that progress,” McConnell explained in a statement.

The next step in avoiding a government shutdown is voting on appropriations legislation.

While the House has passed 11 pieces of legislation, each vote has been almost completely along party lines, giving them little chance of passing the Republican controlled Senate. Lawmakers have until October 1 to appropriate funds, pass a continuing resolution, or enter a government shutdown.

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