A bipartisan deal to dramatically lift the defense and non-defense statutory spending caps through fiscal 2019 appeared closed at hand in the Senate, offering a dose of optimism that Congress will clear a full-year omnibus spending bill in the near future. The apparent breakthrough comes as Democrats seemingly relented on their insistence for parity between increases in the budget cap for defense and non-defense accounts. The defense cap would jump by $80 billion and the non-defense cap by $63 billion in FY 2018, under the agreement. The FY 2019 caps also would rise, likely even by a little more, but it was not exactly clear, reported CQ.
If a deal is reached shortly, the Senate likely would add it to the six-week continuing resolution approved by the House Tuesday. The extra spending would provide $629 billion for defense this year. It’s uncertain, however, how the deal would fare in the House. On Tuesday, conservatives scoffed at the huge increase in domestic spending the agreement calls for, possibly requiring House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to decide if he wants to rely on Democratic support to pass such a measure. Attracting the votes of House Democrats probably would require Ryan to add language addressing the fate of “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
DOD photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn Holm