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Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement to avoid a government shutdown

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Government shutdown, politics, agreement
Republicans and Democrats budget agreement (Photos: The Associated Press)
  • Republicans and Democrats reach a budget agreement.
  • This will avoid a government shutdown.
  • Not all of the details have been released.

Republicans and Democrats announced on Sunday, January 7, a multi-billion dollar agreement on a public spending cap.

According to initial reports, a $1.66 trillion spending cap was agreed upon for 2024.

This would avoid a possible government shutdown, according to EFE.

The agreement, announced by Chuck Schumer and Mike Johnson, must be ratified by Congress and will face opposition from far-right Republicans.

Bipartisan agreement to avoid government shutdown

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Congress has until January 19 to approve this agreement and avoid a shutdown of the United States Government.

Funds will run out in January and February, including vital items such as assistance to veterans, EFE reported.

Although the details have not been made public, this agreement is expected to allocate up to $886.3 billion in defense spending and $772.7 billion in domestic spending.

President Biden celebrated the agreement as a step to avoid a government shutdown and protect national priorities.

Joe Biden on the budget deal

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Biden says the agreement «moves us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities.»

«“It reflects the funding levels that I negotiated with both parties and signed into law last spring,» he said in a statement.

«It rejects deep cuts to programs hardworking families count on…»

«[A]nd provides a path to passing full-year funding bills that deliver for the American people and are free of any extreme policies” Biden continued.

Details of the billion-dollar agreement and its priorities

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Mike Johnson stated there will be additional spending cuts to compensate, prioritizing conservative funding.

“This represents the most favorable budget deal Republicans have reached in more than a decade,” he wrote in a letter.

This agreement seeks to advance the process, but the White House warns about the need to agree on controversial aspects such as immigration policy and military aid to Ukraine.

The most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives opposed the previous agreement on the debt ceiling.

Controversial aspects of the budget

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This faction even brought proceedings in the lower house to a stop for several days to demonstrate their disapproval, according to The Associated Press.

However, Democrats have insisted on sticking to certain amounts on public spending, putting Johnson in a difficult situation.

The deal expedites the roughly $20 billion in cuts already agreed to by the Internal Revenue Service.

It also rescinds approximately $6 billion in Covid-19 relief funds that had been approved, according to Johnson.

Investments and guarantees for families

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This agreement reduces restrictions on asylum requests at the U.S. border.

Furthermore, it is independent of the negotiations taking place to secure additional financing for Israel and Ukraine.

Congress had focused efforts on an economic package of more than $100 billion for Ukraine and Israel.

The money approved for Ukraine in 2023 has been exhausted and the White House has warned of the danger if the U.S. fails to help Ukraine combat Russia.

Will the budget be ratified?

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In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries expressed support for the deal.

«“It will also allow us to keep the investments for hardworking American families secured by the legislative achievements of President Biden and Congressional Democrats,» they said.

Schumer and Jeffries made it clear to Speaker Mike Johnson that «Democrats will not support including poison pill policy changes in any of the twelve appropriations bills put before the Congress.»

This agreement, if ratified would avoid a government shutdown and allow financing for fiscal year 2024, noted The Associated Press.

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