Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes bipartisan two-year debt ceiling extension and budget deal

Following weeks of negotiations between Congressional leadership and the Administration, a spending caps and debt limit deal was reached, which the House of Representatives passed today a 284-149 vote. The legislation allows a $324 billion increase in discretionary spending over two years, averts cuts of about 10 percent to federal agencies, and provides necessary structure to the appropriations process between the House and Senate, likely averting a government shutdown this fall.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he expects the bill (H.R. 3877) to clear the Senate next week when it comes up for a vote, before it then proceeds to the White House for a signature from the President, who is also supportive of the legislation.

House Republicans were split over the deal as many members of the Republican Study Committee and the conservative House Freedom Caucus pushed back against the bill despite the President’s vocal support. 132 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted against the package with Democrats’ complaints largely around the size of the defense budget.

The bill would see total defense discretionary spending increase from $716 billion to $738 billion during fiscal year (FY) 2020 and $740.5 billion in FY21, while nondefense spending would increase from $605 billion to $632 billion in FY20 and $634 billion in FY21.

Once the bill is through the Senate and after they are back from August Recess, Congress will work in September on passing spending bills ahead of the end of the fiscal year on October 1 in order to avoid a shutdown.

Return to Legislative Updates


The free NALC apps for smartphones provide convenient access to tools and information about issues affecting active and retired letter carriers. Information on downloading and using the apps is in our apps section.