Budget agreement reached in the US as the shutdown deadline approaches

Budget agreement reached in the US as the shutdown deadline approaches

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Budget agreement reached in the US as the shutdown deadline approaches

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) participated in the discussions over the spending cap. Image: GETTY IMAGES


Budget agreement reached in the US as the shutdown deadline approaches.

According to local media, US Congress leaders have come to an agreement about the entire spending plan for the remainder of 2024 in an effort to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson claims that the $1.6 trillion (£1.2 trillion) figure includes $886 billion for defence and more than $704 billion for non-defense spending.

There seems to be some disparity in the figures, though.

The Senate and House of Representatives must now approve the agreement.

Less than two weeks remain for them to decide on funding and end the suspension of some federal services.

Democrats Hakeem Jeffries, the minority leader in the House, and Charles Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, said in a statement that the agreed-upon number for non-defense expenditure is $772 billion.

In a letter to colleagues announcing the agreement, Mr. Johnson acknowledged that the funding amount “will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like.”

Republicans have been attempting to reduce some budgets in order to limit total government spending.

Democrats pushed for a clause in Sunday’s agreement that would provide further protection against reductions to health and social programmes.

The agreement was deemed a “total failure” by the House Freedom Caucus, a hardline Republican organisation in Congress.

The group’s former head, Andy Biggs, remarked, “Sad to say but the spending epidemic in Washington continues with both parties being culpable.”

Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Schumer stated that the deal “clears the way for Congress to act over the next few weeks in order to maintain important funding priorities for the American people and avoid a government shutdown” in a statement.

Meanwhile, it “brings us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities,” according to President Biden.

After the holiday break, lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene in Washington on Monday. They have until January 19 to resolve issues related to funding transportation, housing, and energy initiatives.

On February 2, a second round of yearly funding, which covers the defence sector, expires.

The government reached a temporary agreement in October to prevent a government shutdown; President Joe Biden signed the agreement into law only minutes before the deadline. This agreement pertains to the overall amount of spending.

Shutdowns often occur when Congress’s two houses cannot reach a consensus on the about thirty percent of federal spending that needs to be approved before the fiscal year begins on October 1.

Any funding package needs support from both parties because Democrats control the Senate by one seat and Republicans control the House by a narrow majority.

Rebel right-wing Republicans have blocked repeated attempts in recent weeks to pass spending packages in the House.

Congress is still debating immigration policy at America’s southern border, and a deal on a separate bill that provides an additional $50 billion in military aid to Ukraine has not yet been achieved.

A major demand for Democrats, the short-term agreement reached in October to avoid a government shutdown excluded more funding for Kyiv.

Republicans contend that increasing money would be counterproductive to the interests of the United States.

Since Russia started its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, Congress has approved more than $100 billion (£78 billion) in military, humanitarian, and economic help to the country.

Talks on giving Israel further security support as it works to destroy Hamas in the wake of the October 7 assaults are still ongoing.

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