Government Shutdown
There is a need to pass a bill extending routine government funding after a stopgap bill expires March 27. Without an extension, a partial government shutdown would occur. Congress must pass this spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year.

Congressional Leaders Reach 2-Year Budget Deal

2/7/18
from The Wall Street Journal,
2/7/18:

Two-year pact raises federal spending by almost $300 billion above limits imposed by a 2011 budget law.

Congressional leaders said Wednesday they have reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal, charting a path out of the long-running turmoil over spending and immigration that culminated in a government shutdown last month. The agreement raises federal spending by almost $300 billion over two years above limits imposed by a 2011 budget law. If approved by the GOP-controlled Congress, the deal would mark the triumph of defense hawks, who have pushed for higher military spending, over the dwindling number of conservatives focused on reducing the federal budget deficit. The budget deal would raise military spending by $80 billion through the rest of fiscal year, which runs through September, and by $85 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to a congressional aide familiar with the agreement. Congressional leaders also agreed to raise nondefense spending by $63 billion in this fiscal year and $68 billion the following year, according to the aide, addressing demands from Democrats, who had pushed for boosting domestic spending.

“This bill is the product of extensive negotiations among congressional leaders and the White House,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor Wednesday, announcing the deal. “No one would suggest it is perfect, but we worked hard to find common ground.” “After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N..Y.) said on the Senate floor.

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