Senate passes government funding levels, sparking another budget battle concern

by ian

Capitol Hill lawmakers appear to be heading towards a budget battle with a tight deadline.

Senate appropriators approved 12 bills Thursday that set spending levels for the next fiscal year at a total of $1.59 trillion. That’s the limit negotiated between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden last month in the debt-ceiling bill.

But last Thursday, House appropriators approved a budget that cuts an additional $120 billion from its top-line numbers. Now, Democrats and Republicans alike aren’t satisfied with where any of the numbers are currently set.

Specifically, Republicans feel the current defense allotment is set too low for current needs. Defense spending is capped at $866 billion by the June agreement.

A bipartisan agreement between both legislative branches must be reached by Oct. 1 to avoid a shutdown.

Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are urging bipartisan deliberation to avoid another rift. They wrote in a joint statement, “Our nation absolutely must be able to count on a dependable appropriations process.”