U.S. Congress unveiled a $1.3 trillion bill as shutdown looms

Vastavam web: Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress late on Wednesday unveiled a $1.3 trillion bill to fund the government through September, which includes an additional $80 billion in national defense spending but fails to fund some of President Donald Trump’s immigration initiatives.If passed by the House of Representatives and Senate by a Friday midnight deadline, it would avert the shutdown of many federal agencies and programs beginning this weekend, when existing funds expire.

The Republican-controlled Congress will need Democratic support to pass a bill that many Republican conservatives are likely to balk at because of its cost.Representative Mark Walker, who heads a large group of House conservative Republicans, complained that the bill will add to budget deficits. “It is imperative that we curb Washington’s out-of-control spending addiction that has not been slowed under Republican rule,” Walker said.

Trump at one point wanted $25 billion included in the bill to fully fund construction of his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, but negotiations with Democrats to make that happen fell apart early this week, according to congressional aides.The Department of Homeland Security would get an additional $7 million to hire 351 new Customs and Border Protection agents. But the legislation would not give Trump money for the significant increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents he sought as part of a plan to expand deportations of undocumented immigrants.Besides containing the largest increase in defense spending in 15 years, the bill would provide a significant boost in non-defense spending.

Big grain buyers, such as Anheuser Busch, Cargill and the ethanol industry, have complained that the glitch gives lucrative tax breaks to grain producers for selling to farming cooperatives, and a lesser break for selling to agriculture companies.In exchange for supporting the inclusion of the grain fix, Democrats secured the addition of a bipartisan proposal to expand a low-income housing tax credit, congressional aides said.The bill calls for tightening gun sales background checks, but falls far short of Democratic demands to close loopholes that currently allow some gun sales to go unchecked.

The bill will provide a $307 million increase above the administration’s request for counter-intelligence efforts to fight Russian cyberattacks in 2018, when mid-term congressional elections will be held.