Home News Details of $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill Emerge as Partial Shutdown Looms

Details of $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill Emerge as Partial Shutdown Looms

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Details of $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill Emerge as Partial Shutdown Looms

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Congressional aides raced on Tuesday to draw up the text of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion spending deal to fund the government through September.

While President Biden, Republicans and Democrats have all endorsed the agreement, they had yet to release its details and it was not clear whether Congress would be able to complete action on it in time to avert a brief partial government shutdown over the weekend.

Still, lawmakers in both parties were already touting what they would get out of the legislation, which wraps six spending measures into one huge package.

“The final product is something that we were able to achieve a lot of key provisions and wins and a move in the direction that we want, even with our tiny, historically small majority,” Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday.

In a closed-door meeting with Republicans on Tuesday morning, Mr. Johnson cited the inclusion of provisions his party wanted, including funding for additional detention beds run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and cutting off aid to the main United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinians.

Democrats secured a long-sought deal to create 12,000 new special visas for Afghans who had worked for the United States in Afghanistan; a one-year reauthorization of PEPFAR, the U.S. government’s effort to address H.I.V. globally; and funding boosts for federal child care and education programs.

Here’s a look at what we know so far about the legislation, which would fund the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and health agencies.

The legislation funds roughly 8,000 more beds than last year’s bill, a win House Republicans have touted. Congress funded 34,000 beds through the fall of 2023, but under the stopgap measure currently funding the department, the number of beds rose to about 42,000. Negotiators agreed to keep funding flowing to support that higher number.

The legislation would bar funding from going to UNRWA, the main U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinians in Gaza, through March 2025, creating a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars for the agency.

It extends a pause in funding that the White House and lawmakers from both major U.S. parties supported after Israel accused at least 12 UNRWA employees in January of participating in the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel led by Hamas.

In a closed-door meeting, Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, told lawmakers that Democrats had won spending increases for federal child care and education programs, including Head Start. She also touted increases to funding for cancer and Alzheimer’s research, and for the federal suicide hotline, according to a person familiar with her presentation.

It includes a one-year reauthorization of PEPFAR, which helps bankroll global efforts to fight the spread of AIDS. Congress had been gridlocked on reauthorizing the program, parts of which expired in the fall, amid concerns among Republicans that some of the health organizations that fight AIDS also provide abortion services.

Democrats also staved off the inclusion of Republican efforts to slash funding for Title I, a program run by the Education Department to support low-income students and schools.

House Republicans also won the inclusion of several provisions aimed at addressing conservative cultural grievances. For instance, the bill would bar U.S. diplomatic facilities from flying any flag other than the American one overhead — an attempt to prevent embassies and other official buildings from flying gay or transgender pride flags. It also contains a prohibition on a federal ban on gas stoves, an idea the Biden administration has said it is not pursuing but which prompted outrage among Republicans when a commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested could be ripe for future regulatory action.

The Hyde Amendment, a measure banning federal funding for abortion that was first included in spending legislation in 1976 and has been renewed virtually every year since, also is in the bill. But Democrats blocked Republicans from imposing any other anti-abortion measures.

The funding levels adhere to the debt limit and spending deal negotiated last year by President Biden and the speaker at the time, Kevin McCarthy, keeping spending on domestic programs essentially flat — even as funding for veterans’ programs continues to grow and military spending increases slightly.

That translated to cuts in other areas, including to foreign aid.

In the closed-door meeting, Mr. Johnson said that Republicans had secured a 6 percent cut to foreign aid programs. It was not immediately clear which programs would bear the brunt.

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