Negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to keep the US federal government funded until the end of September, according to congressional aides.
The House of Representatives and Senate must approve the deal before the end of Friday and send it to the president, Donald Trump, for his signature to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013.
Congress is expected to vote early this week on the agreement that is likely to include increases for defense spending and border security.
No money will be allocated for Trump’s pet project of a border wall with Mexico after he bowed to Democratic resistance to the plan. However, the deal will allocate an additional $1.5bn for border security, which one congressional aide described as “the most robust border security increase in roughly a decade”, and there was no language in the bill preventing Mexico from paying for the wall if it so desired.
A senior congressional aide told the Guardian that the deal increased defense spending by $12.5bn, with the possibility of $2.5bn more contingent on the White House presenting an anti-Isis plan to Congress. Trump had requested $30bn in increased defense spending.
Democrats were pushing to protect funding for women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood and sought additional Medicaid money to help the poor in Puerto Rico get healthcare. Both of those goals were achieved.
According to a senior congressional aide, the deal also protects other important Democratic priorities. The EPA’s budget is at 99% of current levels and includes increased infrastructure spending as well.
It also achieves a bipartisan goal in achieving permanent funding to cover health care and retirement benefit for coal miners at risk of losing those benefits.
The House is likely to vote first, probably early in the week and send the measure to the Senate for approval before Friday’s midnight deadline when existing funds expire.
Republicans who control Congress and opposition Democrats have been in intensive negotiations for weeks over the legislation that would provide around $1 trillion in Washington money for an array of federal programs, from airport and border security operations to soldiers’ pay, medical research, foreign aid and domestic education.
The Republican-led Congress averted a government shutdown last Friday by voting for a stop-gap spending bill that gave lawmakers another week to work out federal spending over the final five months of the fiscal year.
Congress was tied up for months trying to work out $1 trillion in spending priorities for the current fiscal year. Lawmakers were supposed to have taken care of the fiscal 2017 appropriations bills by last October.
Democrats backed Friday’s stop-gap bill a day after House Republican leaders again delayed a vote on major healthcare legislation sought by Trump and opposed by Democrats. The legislation would dismantle the 2010 Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, but Republican moderates balked at provisions added to entice hard-line conservatives.
The Trump administration also agreed to continue funding for a major component of Obamacare despite Republican vows to end the program.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.