White House, Democrats reach budget agreement
July 23, 2019 | 2:35 PM
by Agencies
File photo of The White House.

Washington: US President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders confirmed that the White House and Congress struck an agreement to increase overall spending levels and suspend 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," Trump tweeted.

The president, however, didn't say whether he will sign the deal into law if it is passed by both chambers of Congress.

"Today, a bipartisan agreement has been reached that will enhance our national security and invest in middle class priorities that advance the health, financial security and well-being of the American people," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

"The House will now move swiftly to bring the budget caps and debt ceiling agreement legislation to the Floor, so that it can be sent to the President's desk as soon as possible," said the statement.

The agreement, which covers fiscal years 2020 and 2021, would raise overall spending levels by $320 billion above the limits set in 2011. It would also suspend the federal debt ceiling until July 31 2021.

With spending levels being raised, the agreement would permanently end the sequester, a move hailed by Pelosi and Schumer as an important win for Democrats.

"Importantly, Democrats have achieved an agreement that permanently ends the threat of the sequester," they said in the statement. "We are pleased that the Administration has finally agreed to join Democrats in ending these devastating cuts."

The legislative and executive branches must come up with short-term budget deals in order not to trigger the sequester, which did take effect in 2013 and has been avoided several times since.

A House vote is expected before Friday, when the chamber leaves for the August recess. The Senate's recess is scheduled to start on August 2.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news