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Bipartisan spending deal agreed to avoid US Government shutdown - expert comment

Dr. Georg Löfflmann, Research and Teaching Fellow in International Security, University of Warwick Department of Politics and International Studies, comments on the last-minute deal reached to end the US Government's second shutdown in 3 weeks:

“The vote by the House and Senate to re-open the federal government and raise the federal debt ceiling are a rare example for bipartisanship in Washington. Democrats did not want the political responsibility for a prolonged government shutdown going into the midterm elections, conscious of how such a move backfired for Republicans under Obama. The Republicans meanwhile had to demonstrate to the American people that they could actually govern. However, this came at the price of one of the GOP's hallmarks: being the party of fiscal prudence and small government.

“The bipartisan spending deal the two parties agreed now would go beyond the 2011 Budget Control Act, allowing for $300 billion in additional spending for the military and domestic programs over the next two years. Together with the Republican tax cuts of $1.5 trillion , there will be a substantial increase to the fiscal debt of the United States with annual deficits exceeding $2 trillion in the coming years and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 105%. While this renews questions about the long-term fiscal sustainability of the United States, America just sent a powerful message that austerity is over.”

9 February 2018


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