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Budget Agreement Clears Congress

On October 28, the House approved, 266-167, H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act. The Senate approved the bill on October 30 by a vote of 64-35. The measure reflects a compromise between the White House and bipartisan leadership in Congress on federal spending, the debt limit, and mandatory spending, among other provisions. President Obama said he will sign the bill into law.

As amended, the measure will increase spending caps by $25 billion and $15 billion in FY2016 and FY2017, respectively. Under the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25), FY2016 defense spending is capped at $523.1 billion; FY2017 defense spending is capped at $536.1 billion. Nondefense spending in FY2016 is capped at $493.5 billion and $503.7 billion in FY2017. The legislation also will extend automatic cuts to mandatory spending through FY2025. Under current law, the automatic cuts would expire in FY2024.

Congress approved H.R. 719, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 11, as it has not completed work on the FY2016 appropriations bills (see The Source, 10/2/15). Passage of H.R. 1314 is expected to help pave the way for completion of an omnibus package before the CR expires.

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