House Dems eye $1 trillion ‘minibus’ in first step to avoid shutdown
The House will likely take up a roughly $1 trillion funding package next week, marking an aggressive first step by Democrats to avert yet another paralyzing government shutdown this year, according to multiple sources.
The House Democrats’ package would substantially increase funding for the Pentagon while also boosting money for domestic agencies, setting up a major clash over spending with Republican leaders and the White House this fall.
The partisan “minibus,” which is unlikely to win support from Republicans, is expected to come to the floor next week.
It will serve as Democrats’ opening salvo in this year’s funding debate, with both parties desperate to hammer out an agreement that keeps the government open past Sept. 30.
Any deal would also need to address Congress’s strict budget caps, which threaten billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts if no action is taken by year’s end.
The bundle includes five of the House’s 12 must-pass bills, but does not touch the Department of Homeland Security, which was at the center of the 35-day shutdown earlier this year.
House Democratic leaders have looked to jumpstart the grueling season of appropriations in June, bringing bills to the floor weeks earlier than past years.
But both chambers still face daunting odds in reaching a funding deal in the first full year of a divided government since President Donald Trump was elected. If they fail, Washington could be thrown into the third shutdown since Trump took office.
Republicans and Democrats remain sharply split on how much Congress should spend on military and domestic programs, as well as policy riders like banning military funds for Trump’s border wall.
Democrats have proposed a total spending deal of $1.295 trillion, roughly $50 billion more than the last major funding deal. The majority of the new cash — a total of $34 billion — would go toward programs like health and education, with a $17 billion increase for the Pentagon.
The House package includes five bills that fund agencies including the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education, Labor and State.
The largest single domestic funding bill — known as “Labor-HHS-Education” — would see a $10 billion boost, offering a boon to progressives who have long complained of underfunding.