BREAKING NEWS

US Congress negotiators set spending plan to avert shutdown, bolster defense

WASHINGTON - Negotiators in the US Congress reached a deal late on Sunday on around $1 trillion in federal funding that would avert a government shutdown later this week, while handing President Donald Trump a downpayment on his promised military build-up.
The full House of Representatives and Senate must still approve the bipartisan pact, which would be the first major legislation to clear Congress since Trump became president on Jan. 20.
Prompt passage of the legislation was expected this week.
The funds, which should have been locked into place seven months ago with the start of fiscal 2017 on Oct. 1, would pay for an array of federal programs from airport and border security operations to soldiers' pay, medical research, foreign aid, space exploration, and education.
"The agreement will move the needle forward on conservative priorities and will ensure that the essential functions of the federal government are maintained, said Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee.
If it is not enacted by midnight Friday, federal agencies would have to lay off hundreds of thousands of workers and require many others to continue on the job providing law enforcement and other essential operations without pay until the funding dispute in Congress is resolved.
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