On Wednesday Senate leaders agreed on a series of spending measures to lift the statutory budget caps, increase funding for national defense and emergency disaster aid, raise the debt ceiling through March 2019, extend health care and tax authorizations, and maintain government operations.
The 2 year $300 billion deal, which still requires Senate approval before it moves to the House floor for a vote later today, includes $ 90 billion in hurricane disaster relief for Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, $ 6 billion over 2 years to fight the opioid epidemic, and raises the caps on defense spending for 2 years.
The Pentagon receives an additional $ 80 billion increase for the budget year for defense programs while non-defense programs receives a boost of $ 60 billion over current levels beginning October 1st.
White House Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke positively about the budget deal on Wednesday.
“I cannot overstate the negative impact to our troops’ and families’ morale from all this budget uncertainty. Today’s congressional action will ensure our military can defend our way of life, preserve the promise of prosperity, and pass on freedoms you and I enjoy to the next generation.”
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees released a statement on the budget agreement in support of the deal.
“This budget agreement is indispensable for our national security. Without it, our military would not be able to defend our nation, as Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and our military leaders have repeatedly warned. Today’s agreement will provide our men and women in uniform with the training, capabilities, and support they need to keep America safe and rise to all of the challenges that we ask of them.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Wednesday that Congress has done the hard work of finding compromise & consensus.
“We have reached a budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of ” Sen. Schumer tweeted.
While @POTUS threatens shutdowns & stalemates, Congress has done the hard work of finding compromise & consensus. We have reached a budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of. That’s compromise. That’s governing. We should do more of it.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 7, 2018
House Democrats want House Speaker Ryan to move separate legislation related to immigration reform before they agree to support the new budget deal.
Separate from the 2 yr. budget deal, U.S. lawmakers on Thursday are attempting to avoid a government shutdown and fund the government temporarily through late March.
President Trump tweeted support for the budget deal on Wednesday and said it is so important for our great military.
The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military. It ends the dangerous sequester and gives Secretary Mattis what he needs to keep America Great. Republicans and Democrats must support our troops and support this Bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018
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