Key Points of the $1.2 Trillion Deal Preventing Government Shutdown

Key Points of the $1.2 Trillion Deal Preventing Government Shutdown

The current fiscal year began on October 1, 2023, over five months ago. Since then, short-term extensions have produced financial deadlines that have forced lawmakers to deal with several fiscal cliffs.

The departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Food and Drug Administration, and other federal programs were all funded by the separate six-bill funding package that was passed earlier this month and signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Congressional leaders issued a $1.2 trillion spending package to avoid a partial government shutdown deadline on Friday.

The spending package, which proved far more contentious than previous financing agreements, was the subject of extensive talks amongst lawmakers before the final product was produced.

It is an enormous 1,012-page bill that consolidates six spending bills.

The bill will pay the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, and Health and Human Services, among other agencies.

As long as Congress can approve this most recent set of government financing bills, the annual appropriations package will soon be finished.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared on Thursday, “This funding agreement between the White House and Congressional leaders is good news that comes in the nick of time,”

He added, “When passed, it will extinguish any more shutdown threats for the rest of the fiscal year, it will avoid the scythe of budget sequestration and it will keep the government open without cuts or poison pill riders.”

Schumer continued, “It’s now the job of the House Republican leadership to move this package ASAP,”

The Republicans and Democrats equally are highlighting their gains from the agreement as Congress works feverishly to approve the measure before the government shuts down at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

This is what the spending deal contains:

What do Republicans boast about?

Republicans are applauding the deal’s funding of homeland security. In addition to funding 22,000 border patrol agents, the bill enhances the amount of ICE detention beds at the southern border.

In addition, GOP negotiators achieved funding cuts to NGOs.

After the bill was released, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, said in a statement that the deal “moves the Department’s operations toward enforcing our border and immigration laws,”

“while these changes are welcome, only a significant reversal in policy by the President to enforce the law can ultimately secure our border.”

Following Israel’s accusations that 12 of UNRWA’s 13,000 employees assisted Hamas in their attack on October 7, Johnson and congressional Republicans are also applauding the halting of financing for UNRWA.

This UN agency provides help to Palestinians in Gaza until March 2025.

Key Points of $1.2 Trillion Deal Preventing Government Shutdown
Key Points of $1.2 Trillion Deal Preventing Government Shutdown

Other GOP wins are restricting the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ability to ban gas stoves with a new rule and permitting American embassies to fly only official flags, such as the American flag, rather than pride banners or the conservative flag.

What do Democrats boast about?

Democrats are hailing a new $1 billion investment in child care and Head Start, a federally financed program for low-income families’ childhood development.

The agreement also includes additional financing for mental health initiatives, cancer research, and Alzheimer’s research.

Democratic negotiators also secured more financing for the Defense Department’s energy and climate resilience programs.

The measure also extends the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) until March 25. The initiative aims to fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

In addition, 12,000 new special immigrant visas for Afghans who assisted the US military operation in Afghanistan are granted as part of the spending agreement.

Remarkably, Democrats are boasting not just about their ability to secure financial triumphs but also about their ability to stop Republicans from adding conservative policy additions to the final agreement.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement following the legislation’s release, “We defeated outlandish cuts that would have been a gut punch for American families and our economy—and we fought off scores of extreme policies that would have restricted Americans’ fundamental freedoms, hurt consumers while giving giant corporations an unfair advantage, and turned back the clock on historic climate action.”

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About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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