A budget deal has been reached and now the whipping up of votes to make it official has begun. Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump have agreed to a 1.37 trillion dollar budget.
You read that right, “trillion.” This deal, which should have smooth sailing in the House and Senate, is sure to garner opposition, most specifically Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, both leaders of the House Freedom Caucus and staunch fiscal conservatives. Another critic is Rep. Mike Johnson, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. There is also opposition to the deal coming from the left who are opposed to the defense spending increases in the deal.
What is in the budget deal? The debt limit is suspended until July 31, 2021. That makes wall street a lot less nervous that there could be another government shutdown.
The $1.37 trillion budget agreement for year one gets bumped up to $1.375 trillion in the second of the deal and would raise the total limit on spending up to $321 billion over a two-year period.
It pleases conservatives by increasing defense spending, which is the prime area where Congress has constitutional authority. The Pentagon is slated to get $738 billion in Fiscal year 2020, with an increase of $22 billion over the year and $46.5 billion over the length of the deal.
The spending package also includes an increase of $632 billion in non-defense spending for fiscal year 2020, which makes Democrats happy. Domestic projects will see an increase of 427 billion for the first year and $56.5 billion for the length of the deal.
Nearly $77 billion in offsets are also included, which throws a bone to President Trump, along with a “no poison pills agreement” to keep Democrats from tacking on frivolous measures. Together it means that the administration can freely shuffle money from one account to another so the funds can be used on border security wall construction as previously arranged, no limit on administrations transfer authority or ability to reprogram funds for a border wall.
Fiscal conservatives are already coming out in opposition to the deal which seems to again kick the can down the road until after the 2020 elections, rather than deal with the tough decisions about spending that need to be made in order to get our fiscal house in order.
Many see it as an embrace of the “Modern Monetary Theory” that says the total deficit is completely irrelevant. The same arguments used by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to fund her “Green New Deal” nightmare have conservatives demanding lawmakers to to show how this huge increase in spending is going to move us toward greater fiscal responsibility and solving our debt crisis.
Fiscal conservatives are urging President Trump to veto this deal when it gets to his desk for a signature. Especially, the way it is written now. That isn’t likely to happen though. Analysts on both sides of the aisle agree that while everyone has things they are unhappy with in the measure, they seem to be equally happy with it as well. As is typical in Washington, the spending bill should have enough votes on both sides to make it all the way through and go into law.