White House, Democrats reach two-year budget deal

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), right, speaks next to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a 2017 news conference. (Yuri Gripas/REUTERS via Courthouse News)

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump said Monday afternoon that his administration and lawmakers in Congress have agreed to a budget deal that raises the debt ceiling for two years.

“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills,” Trump tweeted, referring to provisions undermining the original purpose of a piece of legislation.

He added, “This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!”

The deal would set governmental spending at $1.37 trillion for 2020 and slightly more than that in 2021, according to the Associated Press. National budget deficits are still climbing however, threatening to reach the $1 trillion level.

Discretionary spending caps will rise by $320 billion over the next two years, which could increase the debt by $2 trillion. The defense budget will climb to $738 billion next year, a 3% hike from the previous year.

The budget deal also suspends the debt limit until July 31, 2021.

In a joint statement Monday, Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y.,  said the budget agreement ends the threat of another government shutdown.

“We are pleased that the Administration has finally agreed to join Democrats in ending these devastating cuts, which have threatened our investments to keep America Number One in the global economy and to ensure our national security,” the lawmakers said in the statement. “With this agreement, we strive to avoid another government shutdown, which is so harmful to meeting the needs of the American people and honoring the work of our public employees.”

Last December, the president refused to sign a bill to fund the government without $5 billion earmarked to build a wall at the southern border with Mexico.

In late January, after a newly-elected Democratic Congress tried to end the longest shutdown in the nation’s history, McConnell blocked a stopgap bill from reopening the government.

Eventually, the president signed the measure, halting a shutdown until February, and approved a spending bill later that month, covering the government’s operations through September.

Trump then declared a national emergency on the southern border, which allowed him to dump nearly $8 billion in funding into his border wall project.

In their joint statement Monday, Pelosi and Schumer said the new budget will enhance national security and allow for investments in “middle class priorities,” such as health care.

“Democrats have always insisted on parity in increases between defense and non-defense, and we are pleased that our increase in non-defense budget authority exceeds the defense number by $10 billion over the next two years,” the lawmakers said. “It also means Democrats secured an increase of more than $100 billion in funding for domestic priorities since President Trump took office.”

McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement Monday that deterring national threats remains a top budget priority for Republicans, along with modernizing the nation’s military and boosting its readiness.

“While the reality of divided government means this is not exactly the deal Republicans would have written on our own, it is what we need to keep building on that progress,” McConnell said. “I intend for the Senate to vote on it before members depart for the August state work period.”