Updated Dec 19, 2019

Senate passes $1.37 trillion spending deal

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/ Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 81-11 to approve a $1.37 trillion spending measure to avoid a government shutdown when federal funding runs out at midnight on Friday, NPR reports.

What they're saying: Kellyanne Conway told reporters President Trump is “very happy” about the legislation and signaled that he plans to sign the two bills to avoid a shutdown, according to CNBC.

Details: The spending package allots $49 billion in funding across the government and includes policy provisions such as increasing the legal age of tobacco purchases to 21, a permanent repeal of three health insurance taxes and $1.5 billion in state grants to address to the opioid crisis.

  • $25 million will be carved out in funding for gun violence research — the first time Congress will have funded the issue in 20 years.
  • $1.375 billion for fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • $425 million in election security grants.
  • A $22 billion increase in defense spending.
  • The legislation also boosts domestic and military spending, including a 3.1% pay raise for military members and federal civilian employees.

What's next: The deal will head to Trump's desk for his signature.

The big picture: Unlike last year, Congress and the executive branch are on track to avoid an end-of-year shutdown.

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Trump signs $1.37 trillion spending deal, averting federal shutdown

President Trump on Dec. 19. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening signed a $1.37 trillion spending measure to avoid a government shutdown, according to CNBC.

Why it matters: Unlike last year, when the U.S. government shut down for 35 days from December through January, Trump was willing to accept less funding than he originally requested for the U.S.-Mexico border. He wanted $8 billion for the wall, but Congress only fulfilled $1.375 billion for fence construction, according to NPR.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019

Congress raises age to buy tobacco products to 21

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Congress voted Thursday to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21 as part of a $1.37 trillion spending measure.

The state of play: The larger funding bill helped to avoid a government shutdown. President Trump signaled he will likely sign it before federal funding runs out Friday at midnight.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

Deficit balloons to $356.6 billion in first quarter of fiscal year

Photo: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty Images

The U.S. budget deficit hit $356.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, up 11.8% compared to the same period the previous year, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The deficit, which President Trump pledged in 2016 to eliminate within eight years, is on pace to exceed $1 trillion by the end of 2020. The U.S. has not seen $1 trillion annual deficits since the three years that followed the 2008 financial crisis, per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020