Congress Reaches Deal to Avoid Government Shutdown

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: May 01, 2017 7:30 AM
Congress Reaches Deal to Avoid Government Shutdown

Congressional leaders reached a deal late Sunday to fund the government through September, avoiding a government shutdown.

The legislation includes $12.5 billion in military defense funding, which could increase to $15 billion of the Trump administration presents a plan to Congress for fighting the Islamic State. Still, the figure is half of the $30 billion President Trump originally requested.

The bill also provides $1.5 billion for border security, but none of that money is designated for the construction of a border wall or the hiring of new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

It also does not block funding for Planned Parenthood or sanctuary cities—which were issues Democratic leaders threatened a government shutdown over.

“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure.”

Other provisions in the spending bill include:

The National Institutes of Health, a priority of Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike, will see a $2 billion funding increase, to give it $34 billion total.

The deal protects 99 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and increases clean energy and science funding in spite of Trump’s calls to cut all three priorities. […]

The package includes $295 million to cover a Medicaid funding shortfall in Puerto Rico, one of the outstanding issue in the talks late last week.
Trump tweeted Thursday that, “Democrats want to shut government if we don’t bail out Puerto Rico.”

It also includes money to permanently extend health benefits for retired miners, a top priority of Senate Democrats facing re-election next year such as Sens.Joe Manchin(W.Va.) andSherrod Brown(Ohio).

There is $2 billion in disaster funding for California, West Virginia, Louisiana and North Carolina to rebuild damage caused by flooding and storms and increased funding for transit infrastructure grants.

The House and Senate return Monday night and must pass the bill by 11:59 p.m. May 5, when a short-term spending bill runs out.