Tuesday, May 2, 2017

US budget: Funding deal reached to avert shutdown....

Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement on a spending bill to keep the US government running until 30 September.
The bipartisan deal boosts military spending but does not include funding for President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the Mexico border.

The reported $1 trillion deal (£770bn) needs to be approved by lawmakers.

On Friday Congress approved a stop-gap spending bill that averted a government shutdown at midnight on that day.

That gave Congress one more week to work out federal spending for the last five months of the fiscal year.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the package in the coming days.

The failure to act would have closed national parks and monuments and laid off federal employees.

The last shutdown, in 2013, lasted for 17 days.

What is at stake?

Full details of the agreement on a spending bill are yet to be made public.

But US media reports that it gives President Donald Trump a $12.5bn increase in defence spending and another $1.5bn for border security.

White House proposals to cut popular programmes - such as funding medical research and community development grants - were rejected.

Democrats also fended off potential cuts to women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.

New York City will reportedly receive a $68m boost for local law enforcement, in recompense for the cost of protecting President Trump and his family.

The deal also gives coal miners $1.3bn in health benefits, which will be funded by a rise in customs fees.

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