Bipartisan budget

Congress, it appears, is tired of facing a new budget crisis every six weeks or so, and may be ready to adopt a $1 trillion spending bill that will keep government operating through the end of the fiscal year next September and could serve as a template for future budget agreements.

The spending bill released Monday was the result of several weeks of negotiations between Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). It fills in the details for the broader budget agreement announced late last year that won approval in both the House and Senate.

Make no mistake, the 1,582-page bill released Monday is a compromise. Both sides agreed to spending measures and budget restrictions that they clearly don’t like in order to achieve agreement. That’s how our representative form of government is supposed to work.

There is money in the budget to keep Obamacare operating, for instance, but also funding for increased security at U.S. embassies and for some increases in military spending.

The House is scheduled to begin debate on the bill today (Wednesday), and Rogers said he expects support from his party for it. “This bill is a compromise, but it reflects Republican priorities and holds the line on spending in many critical areas,” Rogers told The Hill online newspaper.

Mikulski also said she expects support from her side of the aisle for the measure, adding, “There will be no shutdown.”

That’s good to hear, and an encouraging sign for the future.


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