President Donald Trump on Friday signed the two-year spending cap increase and debt limit suspension package.
The measure removes the threat of default on U.S. financial obligations until after the 2020 elections, and gives House and Senate appropriators a single set of topline numbers to hash out the next two fiscal years' spending bills.
The Senate cleared the bill Thursday by a vote of 67-28 after the House passed it on a 284-149 vote July 25.
On Friday, the president signed the bill without a ceremony, something he has been known to do. He could have summoned the day’s press pool to the Oval Office for an informal ceremony while he put pen to paper, but chose against it.
Instead, the only notification that the bill was signed was a statement issued by White House spokesman Judd Deere.
The bill would add $324 billion to spending limits over the next two fiscal years, not counting an extra $157 billion mainly for overseas military operations. About $77 billion of that is offset, which is about half of what the White House wanted, and the offsetting cuts don’t take effect until fiscal 2027. Under an assumption that higher spending continues in future years, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates total added debt could reach $1.7 trillion over a decade.
Trump has embraced the deal, however, because it would uncork the higher military spending he wants — $738 billion in fiscal 2020, just shy of his initial budget request — while freeing up nondefense dollars that could be used for his priorities like border security and veterans health care.
Spending cuts, the president said, can come later.
“Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” Trump tweeted before the vote Thursday. “Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!”
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