The bipartisan deal would take a government shutdown off the table
On late Monday night, a bipartisan group of lawmakers announced they had reached a compromise proposal on budget details. The spending bill comes in time to prevent another government shutdown and would ease some cuts to programs such as medical research and job training, while still keeping spending at the $1.01 trillion level agreed in December. The Washington Post quoted Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, as saying he thought the proposal would receive enough support to pass, pointing out that the agreement is “$164 billion less than Bush’s last discretionary budget, so that’s pretty good progress in cutting spending.”
What this means for business:
It signals more predictability in the budget process than has been evident in recent years. If it passes both chambers of Congress, it will take a government shutdown off the table until September 30. The trade-offs inside the bill – for example, boosted funding for early childhood education and the military, offset by reductions elsewhere – also suggest the scorched earth approach to lawmaking that characterized the last several years may be giving way to a more traditional negotiation/compromise model of legislating.
The budget will be considered this week and is believed to be reasonably likely to pass.
Further reading:The Wall Street Journal, Politico, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg News all provide more details on the agreement.
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