4 Takeaways From the $1.3 Trillion Spending Deal 4 Takeaways From the $1.3 Trillion Spending Deal – NTK Network

4 Takeaways From the $1.3 Trillion Spending Deal

Republicans and Democrats in Congress came to agreement on a $1.3-trillion spending package for fiscal year 2018, which ends on September 30.

By NTK Staff | 03.23.2018 @9:00am
4 Takeaways From the $1.3 Trillion Spending Deal

According to multiple reports, congressional leaders from both parties, and in both chambers, came to an agreement on Wednesday over a $1.3-trillion spending package that takes care of government funding through the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018.

No one party, or one person, is a clear winner or loser from the bipartisan effort, which is expected to pass easily in the House and the Senate this week. Here are NTK Network’s four takeaways from the so-called omnibus spending deal.

IT’S GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS

The deal, first and foremost, gives the Republicans in charge governing credibility – they needed Democratic votes for a deal, and it appears they earned them – for a spending package that still includes conservative priorities.

Those priorities include:

  • $1.6 billion “for barriers along the border,” a “win” for President Trump and immigration hawks
  • A fix to the tax-cut law passed in December 2017, after grain companies complained of a loophole that hurt some of their business
  • A law that cleans up the background check system, and is backed by Republicans, Democrats, and even the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Overall, though, the deal likely avoids a messy government shutdown that could interfere with GOP efforts to protect their House and Senate majorities in 2018.

…AND GOOD FOR DEMOCRATS (SORT OF)

Roll Call reported:

Democrats touted increased funding for many of their domestic priorities, like child care development block grants, student loan forgiveness and anti-opioid efforts. They also staved off Trump’s push for new money to house an additional 10,000 undocumented immigrants in detention facilities and to hire 850 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

But Democrats also lost on a number of fronts: 1) most (if not all) don’t want border wall funding, which is included in the deal, 2) worse yet, Democrats could be voting for border wall funding without anything to show for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, 3) Fix NICS is a bipartisan win on guns, but Democrats want much more, and 4) Democrats failed to get funding to shore up failing ObamaCare markets (covered by NTK Network here).

IT’S BAD FOR THE DEBT

Roll Call also framed the spending bill as a “bipartisan spending blowout.” The $1.3-trillion package is full of taxpayer-funded goodies for both parties, and is one of the most expensive discretionary spending totals in a decade.

The $1.21 trillion “base” discretionary total for fiscal 2018 is the highest since fiscal 2010, when Democrats controLled Washington, in inflation-adjusted terms. That figure excludes emergency spending for natural disasters and other funding excluded from spending caps, including Overseas Contingency Operations designated-accounts for the Defense and State departments.

With OCO war-related funds factored in, the $1.29 trillion allocated for fiscal 2018 is the highest inflation-adjusted funding level since fiscal 2011, a year before the budget-cutting law first took effect.

With over $20 trillion in debt, and less tax revenue available as a result of the tax cuts, this spending package certainly doesn’t help America’s debt situation.

IS 2018 ALREADY OVER FOR CONGRESS?

What the spending deal does mean, though, is that Congress is likely done with major legislative action … for all of 2018.

NTK Network noted earlier this week:

Between April and early November, all of Congress has at least six weeks off (the month of August, and the last two weeks before the election). The House has even more time off, around nine weeks (all of the above, plus two extra weeks in October and a week off in September).

Expect the rest of 2018 for Congress to be about elections, and not legislation.

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