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Budget Deal Takes Shutdown and Default Off the Table

Congressional leaders and Trump reach agreement
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2019 7:02 PM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 22, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – President Trump and congressional leaders announced Monday they had struck a critical debt and budget agreement. The deal amounts to an against-the-odds victory for Washington pragmatists seeking to avoid politically dangerous tumult over the possibility of a government shutdown or first-ever federal default, the AP reports. The deal, announced by Trump on Twitter and in a statement by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, will restore the government's ability to borrow to pay its bills past next year's elections and build upon recent large budget gains for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies. "I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck," Trump tweeted, saying there will be no "poison pills" added to follow-up legislation. "This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!"

The agreement is on a broad outline for $1.37 trillion in agency spending next year and slightly more in fiscal 2021. It would mean a win for lawmakers eager to return Washington to a more predictable path amid political turmoil and polarization, defense hawks determined to cement big military increases and Democrats seeking to protect domestic programs. Pelosi and Schumer said the deal "will enhance our national security and invest in middle class priorities that advance the health, financial security and well-being of the American people." They claimed credit for winning more than $100 billion worth of spending increases for domestic priorities since Trump took office. Nobody notched a big win, but both sides view it as better than a protracted battle this fall that probably wouldn't end up much differently. A push by the White House and House GOP forces for new offsetting spending cuts was largely jettisoned. Battles over a border wall, other immigration-related issues and spending priorities will be rejoined this fall.

(Read more federal budget stories.)

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