Congressional Negotiators Reach Tentative Deal On $1.3 Trillion Spending Package

Dec 12, 2019
Originally published on December 12, 2019 7:13 pm

Congressional negotiators have reached tentative agreement on a package of bills to fund the government through the end of September 2020. Lawmakers have until the end of next week to approve spending legislation to avert a government shutdown. The White House has not publicly weighed in on the agreement.

The deal covers all 12 regular spending bills, which total $1.3 trillion. This figure was agreed to in a bipartisan budget package that was enacted by the president this summer.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., confirmed the tentative agreement to reporters following a meeting with the other top Hill leaders from House and Senate spending panels.

"When you look at the 12 bills, I think we can be very proud of the good work that this Congress is doing," Lowey said.

The agreement also includes $1.375 billion for a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. President Trump asked for roughly $8.6 billion in his budget request to fund a border wall. The lower funding level in the agreement is in line with current-year funding levels.

Aides say some details are still being finalized, including approval from the White House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin represented the White House in the negotiations earlier this week, but the administration has declined multiple requests for comment on the current deal.

Lawmakers are in a rush to approve a spending deal next week — federal agencies run out of money at midnight on Dec. 20. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the House is likely to vote on spending legislation Tuesday, paving the way for a Senate vote later in the week.

NPR's Lexie Schapitl contributed to this story.

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