US Congress building

Congress cuts deal on Middle East aid package

Al-Monitor | : Although Congress has yet to coalesce around a path out of the monthlong government shutdown, it has at least reached a consensus on a Middle East aid package for 2019.

The compromise contains good news for several US allies — namely Egypt, Morocco and Turkey — as it undoes significant setbacks they faced when the House passed a different spending bill earlier this year. But it also contains a significant blow to Saudi Arabia by shutting the kingdom out of a key US military training program.

The provisions were all in the Democratic-held House’s spending bill, which passed 234-180 today. The Republican-controlled Senate is set to vote on its own version of the bill on Thursday, but foreign aid provisions are identical to the House bill.

The dueling bills differ on immigration and border security, so neither is likely to become law this week as the two chambers remain mired in partisan gridlock. Still, the Middle East aid provisions have already been agreed to in both chambers, indicating that they’ll likely become law when the shutdown eventually ends.

Read more here