With the end of the fiscal year fast approaching and yet another battle brewing in Congress over the annual budget and national debt limit, it appeared that Washington, D.C. would remain gridlocked headed into the August recess with a likely government shutdown standoff on the horizon in September.
But President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Monday that all of that may have been entirely avoided as top leaders from both parties and both chambers of Congress had reached a two-year compromise agreement on spending and the debt limit.
Two-year agreement reached
Trump tweeted Monday evening, “I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — on a two-year Budget and Debt Ceiling, with no poison pills.”
The president made reference to the benefits this deal would offer not only the Pentagon, but also veterans themselves in a follow-up tweet.
….This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
Spending up, but shutdown threat averted
The proposed deal would raise annual spending by upwards of $320 billion while also suspending the so-called debt ceiling until July 2021, long after the 2020 elections are over — essentially removing the budget and debt limit as an issue during the voting season.
Notably, the deal would also avoid the potential for another partial and temporary government shutdown prior to the election which, regardless of which side of the debate was responsible for the impasse, would inevitably and unfairly be pinned on President Trump and Republicans by the Democrat-aligned establishment media.
The proposed bill will now need to be passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law prior to lawmakers leaving town for their August vacation.
Both parties benefit
In a joint statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the potential deal was praised as a compromise that would end the mandatory budget cuts brought about by sequestration.
The Democrat leaders also lauded the fact that the agremeent would provide additional funding for domestic spending designed to bring about parity between defense and non-defense discretionary spending.
To be sure, this deal will probably be opposed by fiscal conservatives who have long insisted that the federal budget desperately needs cuts, not increases — and they are not wrong in that regard at all.
However, this compromise could very well prove to be a significant tactical victory for President Trump for multiple reasons, in that it offers increased spending to improve the military and secures necessary funding for border security. Furthermore, the deal would eliminate the risk of government shutdown in 2020 that would assuredly be blamed on Trump and could prove detrimental to his chances of re-election.
Finally, assuming Trump holds the White House in 2020 and Republicans hold the Senate while also retaking the House, the stage would be set for Trump to finally make long-overdue spending cuts without a contentious election hanging over everyone’s heads.