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Washington Beat: Lawmakers Negotiate Government-Wide Spending Bill

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TWC News: Washington Beat: Lawmakers Negotiate Government-Wide Spending Bill
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Washington lawmakers on Monday finished negotiating a government-wide spending bill, and while leaders of the House and Senate drafted a broad agreement for federal spending, a little more than a month ago, the actual budget fills in the blanks. Washington bureau reporter Geoff Bennett filed the following report for NY1.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan budget agreement, which was shepherded by Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray, outlined how much money the government is going to spend, but the budget determines what the money will be spent on.

“It needs to determine within each agency, Agriculture, Transportation, Defense and so on, exactly how that money is going to be spent, and as you can imagine, there's an awful lot to negotiate on within each of those categories," said Philip Wallach, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The $1.1 trillion budget governs spending at every federal agency. It’s said to include compromises on funding for Wall Street regulators and for the president’s health care law.

Congress will have to act this week and pass the budget in order to keep the government open. The deadline is Wednesday, and lawmakers are expected to extend the current stopgap funding measure for three days to buy themselves more time.

"Nobody wants to see a shutdown this time around. I think most Republicans felt it was not good politics in the end, and there's a real desire to have some kind of compromise," Wallach said.

Compromise on an increasingly tight timetable.

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