Sunday, February 25, 2024
HomeWorldBudget agreement reached in the United States as shutdown deadline approaches.

Budget agreement reached in the United States as shutdown deadline approaches.

According to local media, US Congress leaders have reached an agreement on the total amount of spending for the remainder of 2024 to avoid a partial government shutdown.

According to Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, the $1.6 trillion (£1.2 trillion) figure includes $886 billion for defense and more than $704 billion for non-defense spending.

However, there appears to be some disparity in the figures.

The agreement now requires approval from the House of Representatives and the Senate.

They have less than two weeks to finalize funding and resume some federal services.

According to Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the non-defense spending amount agreed upon is $772 billion.

In a letter to colleagues, Mr Johnson announced the agreement, admitting that the amount of funding “will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like.”

Republicans have proposed freezing overall government spending by cutting some budgets.

The agreement reached on Sunday includes stronger safeguards against benefit and healthcare cuts, which Democrats had demanded.

The House Freedom Caucus, a conservative Republican group in Congress, dubbed the agreement a “total failure.”

“Sad to say, but the spending epidemic in Washington persists, with both parties to blame,” Andy Biggs, the group’s former chairman, said.

Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Schumer said in a statement that the agreement “clears the way for Congress to act over the next few weeks to maintain important funding priorities for the American people and avoid a government shutdown.”

Meanwhile, President Biden stated that it “brings us one step closer to avoiding a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities.”

Following the holiday break, lawmakers will resume negotiations in Washington on Monday, with a deadline of January 19 to resolve funding issues for programs such as transportation, housing, and energy.

A second round of annual funding for sectors such as defense expires on February 2nd.

The agreement on overall spending comes after the government secured a short-term deal in October to avoid a federal shutdown temporarily, which President Joe Biden signed into law minutes before the deadline.

Shutdowns typically occur when both chambers of Congress are unable to reach an agreement on the roughly 30% of federal spending that must be approved before the start of each fiscal year on October 1st.

With Republicans controlling the House by a slim margin and Democrats controlling the Senate by a single seat, any funding measure requires support from both parties.

Attempts to pass spending bills in the House have been repeatedly thwarted in recent weeks by rebel right-wing Republicans.

Meanwhile, no agreement has been reached on a separate bill that includes an additional $50 billion in military aid to Ukraine, as Congress continues to disagree on migration policy at America’s southern border.

Oil prices are falling as traders monitor rising Red Sea tensions.

The October short-term deal to avoid a government shutdown excluded new aid for Kyiv, a setback for Democrats who had made this a key demand.

Some Republicans argue that any additional funding would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year, Congress has approved more than $100 billion (£78 billion) in military, humanitarian, and economic aid to Ukraine.

Negotiations are also underway to provide Israel with additional security assistance as it seeks to eliminate Hamas following the 7 October attacks.

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