Congressional leaders near agreement on spending deal

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The deal could be announced as early as Sunday evening if the few remaining issues are dealt with. | Getty

Congressional leaders were near an agreement Sunday on a massive spending deal that would deliver both parties funding for key priorities, according to four congressional aides from both political parties.

If clinched, the deal would deliver President Donald Trump billions in new defense spending to combat terrorism and $1.5 billion for enhanced border security, though it would deny him any money for a physical border wall, the sources said. It would fund the government through September and contain key bipartisan priorities: $2 billion in new funds for the National Institutes of Health and former President Barack Obama’s cancer moonshot, as well as a long-term extension of miners’ health insurance that expires on Friday.

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The deal could be announced as early as Sunday evening if the few remaining issues are dealt with, the aides familiar with the negotiations said. Democrats were still pressing over the weekend to fill Puerto Rico’s Medicaid coffers through the end of summer 2018, though Republicans favor moving unspent money to patch the funding problem on the island, according to a Republican congressional aide.

The hang-up over the issue stalled a final deal last week and necessitated a weeklong stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown. Two Democratic aides said there were more outstanding issues than just the Medicaid funds.

House Democrats were also concerned Republicans would move to a partisan vote to repeal Obamacare immediately after striking a bipartisan deal on spending bills. But the Trump administration agreed to continue making payments for Obamacare’s subsidies that help low-income Americans afford insurance, a significant win for Democrats trying to protect the law.

Heather Caygle contributed to this report.

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