U.S. Capitol

House Republican leaders struck a budget deal with the White House just before midnight on Oct. 26 to avert a government shutdown and forestall a debt crisis.

By Kelsey Snell
October 27, 2015 at 1:30 AM

House Republican leaders introduced legislation just before midnight on Monday, finalizing a two-year budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House. The introduction sets up a vote as early as Wednesday on the bipartisan budget deal which would increase military and domestic spending and avert a potentially catastrophic default in exchange for long-term spending cuts.

The 144-page bill, which is the result of weeks of negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders, would increase spending by $80 billion over two years and would increase the federal borrowing limit through March 15, 2017. A Wednesday vote all but ensures the budget deal will be one of the last acts for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) who intends to step down from the speakership by Friday.

The timeline is tight for building support for the plan with the Treasury Department saying the debt ceiling will be hit by Nov. 3. The legislation is expected to be the primary issue discussed on Tuesday morning during a weekly closed-door meeting of House Republicans.

But it remains unclear if House conservatives will support the deal, leaving Boehner and his allies to spend his final days in office rallying support for a potentially unpopular agreement. If he is successful the deal could clear the slate for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) who is expected to be elected speaker later this week.

The agreement includes about $80 billion in additional spending over two years, divided equally between defense and domestic programs. Those spending increases would be offset by savings from changes to the Social Security disability insurance fund and Medicare payments to doctors and other health care providers. New revenue would be raised by auctioning off portions of government owned broadcast spectrum, selling oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve and by cracking down on audits of large business partnerships.

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