Top congressional leaders have agreed to begin negotiations on a two-year deal to lift spending caps and will meet with White House officials next week to formally start the talks, Politico’s John Bresnahan and Sarah Ferris report.
They add that President Trump supports the discussions, even though acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought argued against pursuing another two-year deal, instead urging a one-year extension of current spending levels.
Trump reportedly decided to back the two-year talks after “heavy lobbying” from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who warned that failure to reach a deal could undercut the military spending increases enacted over the last couple of years. Without a deal to raise the spending caps set to take effect, Pentagon funding would be cut by $71 billion from 2019 levels. Non-defense discretionary spending, meanwhile, could be cut by $55 billion.
"It’s still too early to speculate on what the outcome of these discussions will be, but as deficit spending continues to drive up our national debt, the administration will continue to push for fiscal responsibility,” a White House official told Politico.