Appropriations

House and Senate appropriators have reportedly reached an agreement “in principle” to avert a government shutdown on the eve of the December 20 deadline.

House Appropriations Chairwoman Lowey with Senate Appropriations Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy

 

According to House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), the $1.3 trillion “handshake deal” includes all 12 appropriations bills for fiscal 2020, including $1.375 billion for President Trump’s border wall.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) expects the bills to be introduced on Monday, December 16, and up for a vote on Tuesday, December 17.

 

NDAA

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a 377-48 vote on Wednesday, with similar support expected in the Senate next week. President Trump has already expressed his strong approval and will sign it immediately upon successful passage in the Senate.

Once signed, DoD, DOE, and other agencies would be authorized to receive over $738 billion in fiscal 2020. Here is a breakdown by category courtesy of Bloomberg Government:

Other key elements:

    • 3.1% pay raise for troops, the largest in history
    • 12 weeks of parental leave for all federal workers
    • Phased 3-year elimination of the “widow’s tax”
    • Funding for 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
House Appropriations Chairwoman Lowey with the press

Notably, House Democrats gave up on several of their priorities to reach an agreement with Senate Republicans. These priorities included:

    • Lifting a ban on transgender people serving in the military
    • Demanding congressional war authorization before any operations against Iran
    • Closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba
    • Blocking the President from using military construction funds to build a border wall

In addition to the 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, the NDAA authorizes 8 new Boeing F-15EX fighters, 3 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, 1 new frigate, 1 LPD Flight III, 1 LHA replacement (LHA-9), and two medium sized LUSVs (unmanned surface vessels), with plans to buy 8 more over the next 5 years.

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