Parties Cut Spending Deal Adding $400B to Deficit

Trump will sign $1.4T package, aides say, averting shutdown
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2019 5:55 PM CST
$1.4T Spending Deal Has Plenty for Both Parties
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters after walking off the Senate floor on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Congress gave final approval to a $1.4 trillion government spending package Thursday on its way out the door for the holidays, avoiding a potential government shutdown this weekend. Aides said President Trump will sign the two bills by the midnight Friday deadline, Politico reports. In funding the government through September 2020, the package adds $49 billion to budgets. "All in all, these bills accommodate countless member priorities on both sides of the aisle," Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said on the Senate floor, per NPR, before the 81-11 vote on the last bill. Both parties won approval of spending that will help them with reelection. The package will add about $400 billion to the deficit over 10 years, per the AP. "These spending bills are a fiscal dumpster fire," said Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican. "This is embarrassing."

Disagreement on funding the border wall Trump wants had been the biggest holdup; a compromise provides about $1.4 billion, the same amount allocated for this year. Trump had sought more than $8 billion. Republicans won $22 billion more for defense, which Democrats had opposed. The bill has $25 million for research on gun violence, the first such funding in 25 years. Democrats also won full funding for the 2020 census, an equal pay increase for government workers and $425 million for election security. Troops will receive a pay raise of 3.1%. The legislation raises the federal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. (More federal budget stories.)

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