Monday, May 01, 2017

Congress Reaches Deal To Fund Government Through September - npr

Congressional leaders have struck a deal to keep the federal government funded through September.

The budget negotiations provided Democrats with a rare opportunity for leverage and clout, since Democratic votes will be needed to advance the spending plan through the Senate — and possibly the House if enough members of the conservative Freedom Caucus vote against it.

Democratic leaders took advantage of that, and as a result the final plan does not include any money for one of President Trump's top priorities: a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Early on in this debate, Democrats clearly laid out our principles," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Sunday night statement. "At the end of the day, this is an agreement that reflects those principles."

That's not to say the spending agreement doesn't include any Republican priorities. It provides an additional $1.5 billion in funding for border security, money that is designated for technological expenditures and maintenance of existing infrastructure, and not for wall construction. The bill also increases spending for the military by about $15 billion, half of what Trump has been seeking.

The final spending package includes a nearly $70 million reimbursement to law enforcement agencies for costs incurred helping to protect President Trump and the first family.

It also includes funding for cash-strapped Puerto Rico's Medicaid program, and a $2 billion boost for the National Institutes of Health, which Trump had proposed reducing funding for. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi singled out those two provisions in a statement applauding the agreement.

The spending bill also provides additional funding to combat opioid abuse and for Pell Grants for summer school.

On top of that it delivers Republicans the political win of avoiding a shutdown — or even the threat of a shutdown — at a time when the party controls the House, Senate and White House.

House and Senate votes are expected later this week. Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to pass the deal to keep the federal government funded. - Read More

Congress Reaches Deal To Fund Government Through September


Post a Comment

<< Home