US government shutdown averted after lawmakers reaches funding deal
A bipartisan agreement has been reached by Congressional negotiators on a crucial spending bill which will keep the US government running until September 30, preventing a shutdown. Military spending has been given a boost in the deal but funding for President Donald Trump's proposed US-Mexico border wall has been excluded. The deal, reportedly worth $1 trillion, still needs to be approved by lawmakers.
Congress had earlier approved a stop-gap spending bill
A stop-gap spending bill was approved by Congress on Friday which averted a government shutdown which would begin midnight on that day. This gave one additional week for Congress to spell out federal spending for the last five months of the fiscal year. Amongst other things, a government shutdown would cause national parks to shut down and federal employees to lose their jobs.
Reports: Defence/border spending increases, no Planned Parenthood cut
The full details of the spending bill agreement haven't yet been made public. According to media reports, the agreement includes President Trump's $12.5 billion defence spending increase and an additional $1.5 billion for border security. It rejected White House's proposals to cut programmes which fund medical research and community development. A potential cut to women's healthcare programme Planned Parenthood was deflected by Democrats.
Why the Republicans made concession to Democrats
The Republicans have had to make concessions to Democrats despite having a majority in Congress. 60 votes are needed to pass legislation in the US Senate. The Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, requiring the support of at least eight Democrats.
Trump had to yield on border wall, Obamacare
Trump had earlier yielded to demands by Democrats to not include funding for his border wall in the spending bill. Trump was also unable to get Republicans to repeal and replace the Obamacare healthcare plan through Congress. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has called the new deal "a good agreement" that "takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table".