KEY POINTS

  • Congress finalized a $1.3 trillion federal spending
  • 3.1 percent pay raise allotted for civilian federal workers
  • border wall funding remains at $1.375 billion

A week before the Friday shutdown deadline, Congress has finalized a $1.3 trillion federal spending deal on Monday (Dec.16). This comes in the wake of a presidential impeachment scandal that has been on the headlines for weeks now.

After many hours, 2,313 pages and over $1 trillion in spending, it appears that the U.S. government will continue moving forward, and actually provide some useful programs in the upcoming year.

The freshly prepared budget is expected to pass this week and is up for President Trump's signature. It includes, among other projects:

  • A 3.1 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers
  • $25 million for federal gun violence research
  • The repeal of several taxes associated with the 2010 health care law
  • $425 million in election security grants
  • $208 million in additional funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

The highly contentious border wall funding that in 2018, triggered a partial government shutdown that lasted for a little over a month. It continues to be a sticking point between the right and the left, but its budget has stayed at $1.375 billion. The Trump administration had requested $8.6 billion, but the Dem majority has not budged from the much smaller figure.

Funding for immigration enforcement agencies also remains the same as they were in 2019, even after a year of humanitarian scandal at the country’s southern border.

Democrats nabbed more money for civilian federal employees, $7.6 billion in funding for the 2020 Census and higher-than-ever funding for education programs. Republicans are hanging their hats on $22 billion in previously promised additional defense spending and measures that fund privatization of VA care delivery.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin played a key role in bringing the budget to fruition. However, it’s unclear whether or not an embattled President Trump will welcome the deal with open arms.