Politics & Policy

Congress Finalizes 2020 Budget Bill ahead of Impending Shutdown

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Congress finalized negotiations Monday on a broad $1.3 trillion federal budget bill to cover fiscal year 2020, and the legislation is now expected to be passed and sent to President Trump for approval ahead of Friday’s potential government shutdown.

The bill’s provisions — $738 billion for the military and $632 billion for non-defense departments — include a reiteration of the $1.375 billion in border-wall spending approved earlier this year after a 35-day government shutdown. Democrats have consistently been at odds with Trump over funding — after the president requested $8.6 billion — but have been unable to totally remove federal funding.

The legislation also allows the White House to continue re-designating government funds for the wall.  Trump remains locked in an ongoing court battle over the use of $3.6 billion in military funds for building the wall.

Trump’s conflict with Democrats over funding border security led him to vow never to sign another bill under the same circumstances in March 2018. “I will never sign another bill like this again — I’m not going to do it again,” Trump said at the time, after threatening to veto the bill.

Other stipulations in the 2,300-page bill include the permanent repeal of three Obamacare taxes, wage increases for federal employees and members of the military, $25 million for  federal research into gun violence, and raising the tobacco buying age to 21.

The bill, which increases overall funding by nearly $50 billion from 2019, also earmarks $7.6 billion in funding for the upcoming census, as well as a $22 billion increase in Pentagon funding.

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