US Congress Reaches Fundamental Budget Agreement: What You Need to Know

2024-01-07 21:30:46

Almost two weeks before another deadline expires, the divided party leaders in the US Congress have reached a fundamental agreement in the budget dispute.

The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and the Democratic majority leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, agreed yesterday on a cap of 1,590 billion dollars (1,455.91 billion euros) for the current budget year. This now enables committee deliberations to begin.

Two maximum values ​​agreed

In a letter to MPs, Johnson emphasized that significant spending cuts had been achieved compared to previous planning. In particular, emergency spending has been restricted, “which could save taxpayers $200 billion over the next decade.”

Specifically, two maximums were agreed upon: $886 billion for defense spending and $704 billion for all remaining federal spending. The exact distribution must now be determined by the responsible committees in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Republican additional demands excluded

What was excluded were the additional political demands or – in the Democratic terminology – “poison pills” with which the opposition Republicans want to force a change in government policy – ​​for example in the area of ​​migration. Therefore, an actual agreement on the budget conflict remains questionable.

In mid-November, the two chambers of parliament had already reached a preliminary agreement, but this only postponed the solution for a good two months. If there is no decision by January 19th, the USA faces a government shutdown because no further government spending is possible.

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