By Ramsey Cox
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced the $984 billion deal that averts a government shutdown after March 27.
The House passed their own version, H.R. 933, earlier this month that sets the same spending cap, which includes the $85 billion spending cut from sequestration.
The Senate amendment adds three full appropriations measures to the House version. The House bill funded defense, military construction and veterans affairs programs, while the Senate version adds appropriations for agriculture, homeland security and the commerce, justice and science funds.
Mikulski said the Senate changes improve the House bill by slightly increasing spending for programs on border security, law enforcement, cybersecurity and scientific investments. She emphasized that the increases were small to keep the legislation “frugal.”
“Congress must learn to deal with the spending constraints that have become a necessary reality. Much more work remains to be done to secure our fiscal future, including fixing entitlement programs and reforming our tax code," Shelby said. “Today, however, we have taken the first step to show the American people that Congress can come together on important issues.
“Many Americans have lost faith that Democrats and Republicans can work together, and I think this bill proves it’s possible.”
This article was updated at 12:30 p.m. to include new comments from Reid.