WASHINGTON - US congressional leaders on Wednesday reached a compromise on a $1.3 trillion budget bill which sets aside $1.6 billion for President Donald Trump’s wall along the border with Mexico and contained legislative steps on gun reforms.
The bill also reflects the freeze on aid to Pakistan worth $2 billion.
Aimed at keeping the government funded till October, the 2,232-page bill must be passed by congress and signed into law by Friday. It is the first part of a massive two-year spending law signed by Trump in February.
As agreed upon at that time, the bill boosts defence spending — a key demand of Trump and Republicans — by $80 billion. It also gives a $63 billion boost to health and social care programmes, a priority for Democrats.
Congressional leaders from both sides hailed portions of the comprise addressed their respective priorities. Republicans said it made the US “stronger at home and abroad” and for Democrats, it put “workers and families first”.
For Trump, the priority was the wall and military spending. “Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year...most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment,” he tweeted.