US Congressional leaders have reportedly agreed on a $1.6 trillion spending plan for the remainder of 2024 to avert a government shutdown.
The deal, including $886 billion for defense and $704 billion for non-defense spending, faces disagreement over figures. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson states the non-defense amount is $704 billion, while Democrats Hakeem Jeffries and Chuck Schumer argue it’s $772 billion.
The plan requires approval from both chambers within two weeks. Johnson acknowledged it may not satisfy everyone and falls short of some Republicans’ spending cut goals. The deal enhances protection against benefit and health cuts, a Democrat demand. The House Freedom Caucus criticized it, but Democrats see it as vital to prevent a shutdown.
President Biden views it as a step toward avoiding a shutdown and protecting national priorities. Negotiations on transport, housing, and energy funding resume with a January 19 deadline. A separate bill for $50 billion in military aid to Ukraine and security aid to Israel is pending. Delays and disagreements among Republicans, especially on spending bills, persist, and unresolved migration policy issues add complexity.