House Democrats have pulled their proposal to raise discretionary spending caps from the floor amid disagreements over non-defense spending levels. The legislation would provide for a $17 billion increase above FY 2019 budget caps for defense spending and a $34 billion bump above that level for non-defense. Members from the Congressional Progressive Caucus wouldn't support the underlying bill without an amendment from Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) that would have added $33 billion to non-defense spending, while moderates from the Blue Dog Coalition were pushing for a balanced budget amendment. Despite the House’s inaction on the spending caps deal and a budget resolution, the rule setting up debate on the Democrats spending cap proposal will allow appropriators develop fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills with an overall limit of $1.3 trillion for defense and non-defense funding.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said yesterday that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reached an agreement to begin negotiating a new two-year deal to raise budget caps, starting with discussions among Congressional staff. Leader McConnell stated there is a "bipartisan desire" to avoid another stopgap spending bill, as well as to skirt the $126 billion in automatic budget cuts set to go into effect on Oct. 1 if Congress fails to raise the budget caps. Despite this early camaraderie, it remains to be seen whether the two sides can navigate contentious political landmines — such as border security, “Medicare for All,” and the Green New Deal — to reach a compromise.
On the floor, House lawmakers will vote on final passage of a bill (H.R. 1644) that would undo the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order. In the upper chamber, Senators will vote on the nominations of Cheryl Stanton to be Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, and John Abizaid to be an Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.