In Brief

US budget agreement reached

The bill has been labelled a ‘monstrosity’ by critics of the $300bn spending plan

US Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer (pictured) have reached a bipartisan deal that would fund the government for two years, potentially bringing to an end months of political gridlock over the budget crisis.

The bill includes $300bn (£216bn) in spending increases for both defence and domestic programs, with military spending getting an $80bn boost in the first fiscal year, followed by $85bn in the second.

Domestic programs, including a plan to provide health insurance for children, will receive $63bn in the first year, followed by $68bn in the next year.

The bill is due to be voted on in the Senate and the House later today, just hours before a midnight deadline tomorrow for a second government shutdown in less than a month.

The new measure is expected to pass easily through the Republican-controlled Senate, however it faces a number of possible challenges in the House from members of both parties.

The BBC says that many Democrats are unhappy with the bill, as it fails to address the issue of immigration.

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi gave the longest speech in House history yesterday, speaking for eight hours without a break on the topic of immigration reform.

Elements of the Republican Party are also opposed to the bill because of its likely effect on the US national debt.

Jim Jordan, leader of the budget hawk Freedom Caucus, labelled the plan a “monstrosity”, and fellow Freedom Caucus member Mo Brooks called it a “debt junkie’s dream.”

The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has endorsed the contents of the agreement, calling on lawmakers of both parties to “support our troops and support this Bill!”

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