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The massive bipartisan budget deal announced by Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer includes hundreds of billions of unpaid-for new spending, potentially ending an impasse over government funding but giving fiscal hawks heartburn.

Why this matters: This adds more new spending than any budget deals made under the Obama presidency (although the stimulus package passed during that time was very pricey). Yet politically, most saw this as the only way forward, reflecting both gridlock and the declining influence of fiscal conservatism in Congress.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. House of Representatives; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The numbers that matter: The deal adds $300-400 billion to the deficit over two years, and could ultimately add $1.5 trillion to the national debt, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated.

What's in it: Aside from raising spending levels, the budget deal includes goodies for both parties, along with a few must-do items.

  • A slew of health care items, as reported by my colleague Sam Baker yesterday — including $6 billion in opioid and mental health funding and repeal of the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board, a program included to control Medicare costs.
  • $20 billion of infrastructure spending.
  • Nearly $90 billion in disaster relief funding.
  • A one-year increase in the debt limit.
Republicans needed 9 Senate votes and they were expensive.
— Former Republican leadership aide

"Horrible. Bipartisanship at its worst," said Marc Goldwein of the CRFB. "It not only repeals the sequester — which was meant to spur fiscal reforms — but it reverses half the savings from the initial caps ... Where are all the fiscal hawks?"

Between the lines: Additional defense and domestic spending resonates much more with voters than fiscal responsibility. Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker put it well: “The truth is, is that most people, if you ask them their top 10 concerns, nobody’s mentioning debt," he told me, adding that he's "struggling" with how to vote on the deal.

The bottom line: "It's a recognition of reality that was long overdue," a source close to McConnell told me. "Dems wouldn't budge on domestic, R's wouldn't budge on defense, Trump's given R's permission politically to deficit spend, and everybody is happy to put shutdowns behind them."

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

4 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.