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Hard-Won Budget, Debt Deal Clears the Senate

The drama-free solution involved compromise on both sides
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2019 11:48 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – A hard-won budget and debt deal easily cleared the Senate on Thursday, powered by President Trump's endorsement and a bipartisan drive to cement recent spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies, the AP reports. The legislation passed by a 67-28 vote as Trump and his GOP allies relied on lots of Democratic votes to propel it over the finish line. Passage marked a drama-free solution to a worrisome set of looming Washington deadlines as both allies and adversaries of the president set aside ideology in exchange for relative fiscal peace and stability. The measure, which Trump has promised to sign, would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all its bills and would set an overall $1.37 trillion limit on agency budgets approved by Congress annually.

It also would remove the prospect of a government shutdown in October or the threat of deep automatic spending cuts. The administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., played strong hands in the talks that sealed the agreement last week, producing a pragmatic measure that had much for lawmakers to dislike. Trump did step back from a possible fight over spending increases sought by liberals, and achieved his priorities on Pentagon budgets and the stock market-soothing borrowing limit. Pelosi won remarkable Democratic unity in pushing the bill through the House last week despite Democratic divides on issues such as impeachment and health care. Democrats in the GOP-controlled Senate delivered most of their votes for the deal. Many of the more solidly conservative Republicans said it allowed for unchecked borrowing and too much spending.

(Read more budget stories.)

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