Negotiators announce deal on US government-wide spending Bill

The handshake agreement was announced by the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Nita Lowey. PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior lawmakers announced a tentative agreement on Thursday (Dec 12) on an almost US$1.4 trillion (S$1.90 trillion) government-wide spending Bill that would stave off a federal shutdown next weekend and split the differences on a number of contentious issues.

The handshake agreement was announced by the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, and other top members of Congress.

"We've had a meeting of the minds," Ms Lowey said.

Details of the agreement were not announced and processing the sweeping measure is sure to take a few days. But it would award President Donald Trump with additional money for the US-Mexico wall while giving the Democrats who control the House a number of their priorities.

The measure is likely to pass the House next week just before the House votes on impeaching Mr Trump. A Senate vote is expected before a temporary spending Bill expires next Friday at midnight.

"We decided that the decisions would be made today," said Representative Kay Granger, a Texas Republican. "We said, 'It's time to get this thing done.'"

At issue are 12 annual spending authorisations that fund the day-to-day operations of federal agencies. The appropriations package fills in the long-overdue details of this summer's budget and debt pact, which offered boosts to both the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

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