Top leaders in the US Congress agreed on Sunday to a maximum federal spending level of $1.6 trillion in a deal aimed at avoiding a partial government shutdown this month, House Speaker Mike Johnson said.
The maximum figure includes US$886 billion for defense and US$704 billion for non-defense spending, Johnson said in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday. The part intended for defense had already been enacted by President Joe Biden last month through the defense spending law.
Non-defense discretionary funding will “protect key national priorities such as veterans benefits, health care and nutrition aid” from cuts sought by some Republicanss, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a joint statement.
Congress was scheduled to return to Washington next week to address the January 19 and February 2 deadlines to resolve public spending through September. amid Republican demands to reduce fiscal 2024 discretionary spending below limits agreed to in June.
Biden said on Sunday that The agreement brought the country one step closer to “avoiding an unnecessary government shutdown and protecting important national priorities.”
“Reflects the funding levels I negotiated with both parties“Biden said in a statement after the announcement of the agreement.