White House, Congress Strike Deal On Budget, Debt Ceiling

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Congressional leadership and the White House announced they negotiated an agreement on a two-year budget deal to prevent a government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling late Monday night.

The 144-page discussion draft includes raising the caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act by $112 billion, including a $32 billion increase to the Overseas Contingency Fund.

The current sequester-level limits will be lifted by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017.

In exchange for the spending increases, a 2 percent cut to Medicaid will be kept in place, set at sequester levels. Costs will be offset by changes made to Social Security and the legislation will put a stop to a 52 percent Medicare premium increase.

With the debt limit deadline just days away, the legislation will also allow the Department of the Treasury to continue borrowing as needed until March 2017.

If the bill isn’t passed, Congress has until Nov. 3 to address the debt ceiling and a Dec. 11 deadline to strike a deal before funding extended by the continuing resolution passed in September runs out.

The bipartisan agreement is already seeing some pushback from conservatives, who feel the spending cuts don’t go far enough.

Sen. [crscore]Jeff Sessions[/crscore] said he thinks the agreement is so bad his “knees quiver at the sound.”

“What does Boehner got to do with it?” the Alabama Republican told Politico. “I’m worried about how fast it’s moving. I see no reason for that. Based on what I know now, it appears the president got whatever he wanted.”

If the measure is successful, it will be one of House Speaker [crscore]John Boehner[/crscore]’s last tasks in office before he steps down Friday, taking some pressure off his expected successor Wisconsin Republican [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore].

The bill could be brought to the floor as early as Wednesday.

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