Bipartisan Deal to Keep Government Funded Through September

WASHINGTON (CN) – Congressional negotiators on Monday released the details of a more than $1 trillion bill that will fund the government through the end of September, all but assuring the end of the government shutdown threat.

The $1.07 trillion package will fund the government through Sept. 30 and includes $1.5 billion for border security measures, though not any for President Donald Trump’s planned border wall, as well as a $25 billion bump in defense spending.

Instead of funding the wall, the bill provides $772 million to improve infrastructure already in place along the southern border and hire new border patrol agents.

The agreement also sets aside $20 million for the Trump administration to hire 10 more teams of immigration judges to speed up immigration reviews as well as $617 million to expand detention facilities that hold people caught crossing the border illegally.

The result of weeks of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House, the bill also cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by $81.4 million. The package comes just days after Congress passed a stop-gap bill to keep the government open over the weekend.

“This legislation will fund critical federal government activities, including our national defense, and enact responsible funding decisions to target U.S. investments where they are needed the most,” Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the chair of the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. “It also maintains and enhances policies that bolster economic growth and support the core values that our nation is built on.”

The Justice Department takes a $143 million cut in the new spending agreement, tough federal courts receive an additional $156 million as compared to last year.

The bill also includes an increase of $150 million for programs meant to stem the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. Overall, the Department of Health and Human Services will receive $2.8 billion more under the new proposal.

Among the agencies hit hardest by spending cuts is the Department of Education, which would see its budget slashed $1.2 billion.

The agreement appeared in peril at multiple points in the past two weeks, only to have the White House back off key sticking points each time. At first, Democrats refused to agree to any bill that included funding for Trump’s wall across the southern border and when Trump backed off that request, they insisted the agreement not target Obamacare subsidies.

The result is a bill that includes wins for both sides and will likely receive large bipartisan support when it heads to votes later this week.

“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education, and infrastructure. Early on in this debate, Democrats clearly laid out our principles. At the end of the day, this is an agreement that reflects those principles.”

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