The US Congress approves a federal budget worth $1.6 trillion

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The US Congress announced a historic bipartisan agreement on the total federal budget for fiscal year 2024, a step toward avoiding a government shutdown in a year marked by presidential elections.

The budget includes federal spending amounting to about $1.6 trillion, and the agreement was announced after weeks of negotiations between Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and the two Democratic leaders in Congress.

President Joe Biden was quick to express his admiration for the decision, praising the agreement as bringing the government closer to avoiding an unnecessary shutdown and protecting important national priorities.

However, time is running out for the two parties in Congress to agree on spending details and adopt text before the January 19 deadline, as some federal agencies may find themselves without funding.

The agreement includes $886.3 billion in defense spending, and the move represents an important step toward ensuring that core aspects of the Pentagon remain funded.

In a joint statement, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries stressed the importance of protecting essential national priorities, such as veterans’ benefits, health care and food assistance, from severe cuts.

In his statement, Biden stressed that the agreement rejects deep cuts in the main programs on which hard-working families rely, praising the opportunity it opens to pass funding bills for a full year that meet the needs of the American people and are devoid of any extremist policies.

However, this agreement is expected to anger the far-right wing of in the Republican party in the House of Representatives, who are calling for a belt tightening at the budget level.

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