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House Republicans and Senate Democrats have reached a pivotal spending deal at the eleventh hour to finance the federal government throughout the rest of 2024. The agreement, announced by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), underlines a strategic negotiation that enabled Republicans to secure significant spending cuts to avert a government shutdown. The accord is fashioned based on caps and ancillary spending agreements established during last year’s debt limit deal, framing a framework with a designated $1.59 trillion budget for fiscal year 2024.

Johnson outlined the essential components of this deal in a “Dear Colleagues” letter, specifying the allocation of $1.590 trillion for fiscal 2024, in accordance with the statutory levels set forth in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Within this allocation, $886 billion is earmarked for defense expenditure, while $704 billion is directed towards non-defense programs. Emphasizing this as a significant maneuver, Johnson celebrated it as the first curtailment in non-VA, non-defense appropriations after a prolonged period.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) provided a separate statement, noting the allocation of $772.7 billion for non-defense discretionary funding. They underscored the shielded safeguarding of crucial domestic priorities such as veterans’ benefits, healthcare, and nutrition assistance against aggressive cuts they attributed to right-wing pressure.

Additionally, Schumer’s office clarified an extra $69 billion as part of a side agreement struck between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Joe Biden during the debt ceiling accord, aiming to reconcile any disparities in the budgetary allocation.

Regarding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Johnson indicated a $10 billion provision for “additional cuts.” However, Schumer’s office clarified that this aligns with the previously agreed $20 billion in cuts, likely to materialize this year instead of being spread over a two-year period.

The bipartisan consensus in this recent deal also recuperates $6.1 billion from unutilized COVID relief funds. Johnson seized on the agreement, expressing House Republicans’ intention to persist in championing conservative policy wins by integrating policy riders into appropriations bills and realigning budgetary priorities in alignment with conservative values. This deal represents a delicate balance between fiscal responsibility and safeguarding key programs, showcasing both parties’ efforts to secure their respective priorities in the federal budget for the remainder of the year.