Congress and White House Reach Budget Deal
On July 22, President Trump and Congressional leadership reached a compromise deal on federal spending for the next two years. The legislation, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, would increase statutory spending limits by $323 billion combined in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. These increases will allow more discretionary spending and avert steep sequestration cuts across the federal budget. The legislation would also suspend the debt limit through July 31, 2021.
The House is scheduled to vote on the measure this week before leaving for a six-week recess. The House Committee on Rules has scheduled a meeting to markup the measure on the afternoon of July 23. After House passage, the bill should be taken up by the Senate. The Senate Committee on Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have both issued their support for the measure.
Chairman Shelby stated that once the bill is passed, he intends to hold markups for appropriations bills beginning the week of September 9 when the Senate has returned from recess. Chairman Shelby stated that he intends to prioritize certain bills, such as the defense and labor spending bills, but has also said that a continuing resolution will be needed to temporarily fund the government after the current fiscal year ends September 30, and until fiscal year 2020 appropriations measures are signed into law.
To date, the Senate has not introduced any fiscal year 2020 appropriations legislation, as the chamber was waiting for a budget agreement. The House has passed nine of their 12 bills, though those numbers will likely need to be amended given the new spending caps.
You may read a summary of the budget agreement here.