House approves 2-year budget and debt-ceiling agreement

House approves 2-year budget and debt-ceiling agreement

U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives late Thursday afternoon approved a $1.37 trillion budget deal brokered between congressional leaders and the Trump administration that raises spending by $324 billion over the next two years and suspends the debt ceiling for the same duration.

The measure passed 284-149.

One-hundred-and-thirty-two Republicans voted no, as did 16 Democrats and Independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

Earlier Thursday Donald Trump urged House Republicans to back the measure.

The legislation eliminates billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts set to take place in January 2020. It provides near parity between defense and domestic spending, and provides a framework for funding the government when current appropriations expire on Oct. 1.

The agreement is the product of months of negotiations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took the lead in hammering out the final details.

Earlier this month, the Bipartisan Policy Center released a report that said the government might exceed its borrowing limit in early September. Previous reports said the government would not default until October or November.

If the Senate does not approve the measure before the body adjourns for a five-week recess that begins on Aug. 2, lawmakers will have only a matter of days after they reconvene to prevent the government from going into default.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he is confident the bill will pass.

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