US Senate passes $1.4 trillion spending deal; legislation now goes to Trump

Topics US Senate | Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan | Photo: Reuters

The US Senate on Thursday passed a gigantic $1.4 trillion spending deal that pumps nearly $50 billion in extra funding into federal agencies and prevents a holiday-season government shutdown, if President Donald Trump signs it as expected.

The legislation -- which easily passed in two parts in the Senate after clearing the House earlier this week -- caps a flurry of year-end bipartisanship just a day after Trump became only the third US president ever to be impeached.

The deal fulfils spending requirements for the military that were sought by Republicans, as well as domestic projects prioritized by Democrats. It keeps the government running through the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

"Bipartisan cooperation has made this possible," Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Shelby said in a statement.

"This package of appropriations bills includes resources for critical domestic priorities that our entire nation will benefit from receiving." The sprawling legislation includes a 3.1 per cent increase in pay for members of the military and a $22 billion jump in defense spending. It notably raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 across the country, and provides $25 million for gun violence research, the first time such funding has been allocated in two decades.

The package repeals a series of unpopular taxes, including the Obamacare "Cadillac" tax on high-cost health insurance benefits, provides $1.5 billion in grants to help states respond to the opioid crisis, and allocates $425 million for election security. It also provides $1.375 billion to improve and build barriers and update the wall system along the US-Mexico border, a priority for the president.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel