Senate Passes Two-Year Comprehensive Budget Legislation

Senate Passes Two-Year Comprehensive Budget Legislation

The Senate passed the comprehensive $2.7 trillion two-year spending agreement Thursday that will temporarily suspend the debt ceiling to avert a looming government default while lifting discretionary spending limits for fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021.

The vote was 67-28 with a majority of Republicans voting to support the bipartisan legislation, Roll Call reported.

It follows a successful House vote last week, clearing the way for congressional appropriators to begin work well ahead of the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The legislation suspends the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021, and sets a FY 2020 defense topline of $738 billion and a FY 2021 defense topline of $740.5 billion. It also increases nondefense spending for FY 2020 to $632 billion and increases it again to $634 billion in FY 2021, as On Base has reported.

Overall, the bill adds $324 billion in new spending over the next two fiscal years, not including another $157 billion mainly for Pentagon overseas contingency operations.

The legislation includes about $77 billion in offsets, about half of what the administration originally sought, and the offsets don’t kick in until fiscal 2027, according to the report.

The legislation now heads to the White House where President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law. Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intensely lobbied GOP senators over several days to gain approval, according to Politico.

Still, there was significant opposition from Republicans and conservative outside groups including Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), according to the report.

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