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Senate Strikes Bipartisan Deal to Raise Defense Spending Over 2 Years

The Senate on Wednesday reached a bipartisan agreement that would allocate a defense budget of $700 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The proposed top-lines for the defense budget adhere to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act and the deal would increase the spending caps for defense and nondefense programs by approximately $300 billion over a two-year period.

The New York Times also reported the budget cap for military spending would be raised by about $80 billion in FY 2018 and $85 billion in FY 2019.

The deal would also increase nondefense spending limits by approximately $63 billion in FY 2018 and about $68 billion in the next fiscal year.

The agreement aims to lift the debt ceiling through March 2019 and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program by another four years.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said the deal would earmark approximately $90 billion for disaster relief efforts in response to wildfires and hurricanes; $20 billion for infrastructure; $5.8 billion for child care programs; $6 billion for mental health and opioid crisis; and $4 billion for veteran hospitals and clinics.

The Senate is expected Thursday to decide on the budget deal and another continuing resolution that would keep agencies operational through March 23, the report added.

The upper chamber’s budget deal came a day after the House passed the stopgap funding measure.

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