Thursday the Senate approved a $2.7 trillion two-year budget deal. The spending package, which passed by a 67-28 vote, was negotiated by the Trump administration and congressional Democrats.
The bill will now head to the president’s desk where he said he will sign the measure which also suspends the debt limit through July 2021. The bill increases overall discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion in fiscal 2019 to $1.37 trillion in 2020 and $1.375 trillion in 2021. The measure would boost funding across defense and non-defense agencies by $324 billion over the next two years compared to levels established under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The additional spending does not include an extra $157 billion mainly for overseas military operations, according to Pro Farmer’s Jim Wiesemeyer.
“About $77 billion of that is offset, which is about half of what the White House wanted, and the cuts don't take effect until fiscal 2027,” he says. “Under an assumption that higher spending continues in future years, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates total added debt could reach $1.7 trillion over a decade.”
According to Wiesemeyer, without the budget deal, federal agencies would have seen a $125 billion cut in fiscal 2020 alone across both defense and non-defense spending. The deal sets spending top-line spending levels through fiscal 2021.
“Among the 28 "no" votes in the Senate, only five were Democrats: Thomas Carper of Delaware, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado,” Wiesemeyer says. “Trump and GOP leaders persuaded a majority of the chamber's 53 Republicans to back the measure (30 to 23), unlike in the House where only 65 out of 197 Republicans supported the bill last week by a vote of 284-149.”
Attention now turns to ensuring 12 federal agencies remain funded past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 via individual bills and/or a minibus bill that groups several spending measures, he says.
“A Continuing Resolution (CR) will likely be needed to complete the entire budget process,” he adds.