Trump, Congress Clinch A Crucial Two-year Debt Ceiling and Budget Deal

• President Donald Trump and bipartisan congressional leaders, on Monday, struck a crucial two-year debt ceiling and budget deal.
• The agreement would increase the US discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion currently to $1.37 trillion for the fiscal year 2020, notes Reuters.
• The House should approve the budget before members leave for a six-week recess from July 26. The deal needs to pass both chambers of Congress.
• The deal could help avert the looming threat of debt default and across-the-board spending cuts. Moreover, it may also prevent a government shutdown as the current funding will expire after September 30.
• The two critical factors, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that lead to the agreement is to prevent a stock market collapse and the fiscal fallout.
• The deal could push the annual budget deficit to over $1 trillion next year owing to new spending and limited savings.

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Kicking the can down the road 

by Michael S - July 25

This bi-partisan deal strikes me as a convenient cop-out for the Trump Administration. Before even considering the aftermath of ballooning the federal deficit when we don’t have much wiggle room in that regard, the deal’s expiration date speaks volumes. A potential dilemma over debt and spending has now been pushed off until July 31st 2021, after the upcoming 2020 election has taken place. What this’ll allow Trump to take with him on the campaign trail is the means to claim that our defense is “stronger than ever,” and that we are “doing great.” Well sure, by a drastic and reckless increase in budget spending, of course things will seemingly be sailing along smoothly. But there’s going to come a day in the future where this decision will prove to be a tough fix for whoever inherits it in 2021—in a worst case scenario, Social Security and Medicare will crumble from their already unstable structures. For now, though, this’ll likely only strengthen Trump’s supporters, as those who benefit from tax cuts and increased spending will be likely to favor the sitting president. It’s also such a shame to see this happen after Obama tried to rectify his first term’s budget increases during his second term. There’s context to consider, though, when looking at Obama’s initial budget increases. Obama was inaugurated when this country was in a financial crisis. It makes sense to increase federal spending in these circumstances. Currently, however, we have a good economy. To see such a drastic increase in spending seems like a resolution that lacks a vision of the future. Everybody seemingly got what they wanted out of this deal, but it is a band-aid to a problem that’ll show its’ claws in the years to come. Even more concerning is