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Congress Races to Advance $1.5 Trillion Government Funding Deal

To avoid a shutdown, leaders also prepared a four-day spending patch

Congress took a crucial step toward clearing a $1.5 trillion package to fund the federal government through September, after top lawmakers released bill text early Wednesday morning.

The more than 2,700-page bill would revive earmarks for the first time since Congress banned the practice more than a decade ago. It would substantially boost funding for the military and nearly every non-defense agency, growing domestic spending to $730 billion, an almost 7 percent increase over current funding. The measure would boost national defense coffers to $782 billion, about a 6 percent increase.

The package was finalized too late to guarantee Congress can clear it before federal funding runs out at midnight on Friday so leaders have prepared a four-day spending patch to move the deadline to Tuesday. While that temporary funding bill could also face Senate snags that risk a government shutdown, the stopgap is expected to be easier to pass in short order.

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