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An undated file photograph showing the US Capitol in Washington DC. EFE/File
An undated file photograph showing the US Capitol in Washington DC. EFE/File

US Congress leaders reach preliminary bipartisan budget accord

Leaders of the US Congress have reached a preliminary bipartisan agreement on the federal budget for the current fiscal year which ends next September, in…

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Leaders of the US Congress have reached a preliminary bipartisan agreement on the federal budget for the current fiscal year which ends next September, in order to avoid a partial government shutdown for lack of funding at the end of this week.

The agreement, which must now be approved by both houses of Congress, was reached at the last minute on Sunday and includes an increase in funds for defense and border security.

What this bipartisan accord does not include are funds for building a wall on the Mexican border, one of US President Donald Trump's main campaign promises.

In announcing the results of the negotiations hammered out over the weekend, Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday night that this is a "good agreement for the American people" that also "takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table" for a lack of funds.

Last Friday the US Congress passed a one-week extension, until May 5, of the current federal budget, thus delaying a partial government shutdown that would have started at midnight.

With that deferral the lawmakers gave themselves a little more time to continue negotiating a budget accord to cover the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends next Sept. 30.

The last time the United States suffered a partial government shutdown for lack of funds was in 2013, a state of affairs that lasted 17 days and caused the temporary dismissal of thousand of federal employees.

 

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