President Donald Trump signed, after Congress passed, two fiscal spending packages—defense-related (H.R.1158) and non-defense-related (H.R. 1865)—worth a total of $1.4 trillion just before the holidays avoiding another partial government shutdown and funding the government through Sept. 30, 2020.
A $22 billion increase in defense spending over fiscal year (FY) 2019 levels, including a 3.1% pay raise for military personnel, and an overall 5% increase in discretionary spending were rolled into the two measures, which contained all regular agency spending bills.
The final compromise of the contentious border wall funding debate, which had hampered the already delayed appropriations process, allows for $1.375 billion—equal to FY 2019 funding and much less than the $9 billion requested by Trump—and leaves it to the courts to decide whether the administration can access military construction accounts for the remainder of resources. Democrats did not agree to backfill the $3.6 billion in accounts that the president redirected to wall construction.
The funding deal is consistent with the two-year budget plan enacted in July and contains funds for election security, gun violence research and substantial increases in biomedical research. In addition, many extra provisions that extend tax credits including those for biodiesel fuel, investments in low-income communities, and a repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on expensive health insurance plans were incorporated.
Major agency highlights follow: