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US Congress negotiators reach deal on 12 government spending bills, Republicans say

In World
January 30, 2024

US Congress negotiators reach deal on 12 government spending bills, Republicans say

Bipartisan negotiators in the US Congress have reached agreement on the spending levels in the 12 bills that legislators would need to pass to avert a government shutdown beginning in early March, Republican lawmakers said on Monday.

The agreement is the necessary next step after Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed earlier in the year on a US$1.59 trillion discretionary spending level for the financial year that began on October 1.

Congress will eventually have to pass the 12 bills to fund the government and avert a partial shutdown of federal agencies that would otherwise begin on March 1.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, left, and US House Speaker Mike Johnson. Photo: Getty Images / TNS

“We’re on it. We’re going to continue to focus on that until we get them done,” said Republican congressman Dave Joyce, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

“We don’t have a lot of time. And there’s going to be a lot of really, really contentious issues,” said Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes.

Congress earlier this month passed a third stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government open through a pair of deadlines on March 1 and March 8.

The United States’ US$34.4 trillion national debt is rapidly escalating and has prompted worries in part because of the heavy interest payments now being borne by the Treasury Department.

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