Senate Appropriations Committee leaders have tentatively agreed to add $34.5 billion in emergency spending to their fiscal 2025 bills on top of levels agreed to in last year’s debt limit negotiations, sources familiar with the talks said Monday. 

Under the emerging pact between Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, defense accounts would receive an extra $21 billion in emergency spending while nondefense programs would get $13.5 billion. 

The agreement would pave the way for a nearly $30 billion, or more than 3 percent increase, for the Pentagon and other security-related agencies above the fiscal 2024 enacted levels. Meanwhile nondefense agencies would receive a roughly $21 billion boost, just shy of 3 percent above the final spending packages for this year. That figure could change with various other nondefense “adjustments” once all the bills are drafted.

Those numbers represent a significant increase from the caps laid out in the debt limit law and associated “side deal” allowing various nondefense increases without technically violating the caps. Last year’s deal which allowed for 1 percent increases for both defense and nondefense spending. 

By contrast, the House versions of fiscal 2025 spending bills would provide that 1 percent increase for defense, in line with the statutory caps. But GOP appropriators in that chamber ignore most of the side deal adjustments, resulting in effective cuts to nondefense programs of between 6 and 7 percent on average.

Murray confirmed the deal with her GOP counterpart in a statement Monday afternoon. She didn’t provide specific figures, but made clear both sides of the aisle agreed that 1 percent increases were too skimpy given the needs in both spending categories. She cited inflation, which has come down recently but is still hovering around 3 percent year over year.

The bipartisan agreement would “provide much-needed additional nondefense and defense funding to address serious shortfalls, tackle urgent new challenges here at home and abroad, and invest in families and our country’s future,” Murray said.

Murray and Collins reached the agreement ahead of the committee’s markup of its subcommittee allocations on Thursday. The committee will also consider the Agriculture, Legislative Branch and Military Construction-VA bills Thursday, all of which skipped formal subcommittee markups in that chamber.

For months, Senate Republicans have been pushing for a boost for defense spending, while Senate Democrats have said they need a commensurate increase for nondefense programs. In divvying up the added emergency funds this way, Murray has offered an olive branch to Republicans who argue global conflicts demand a bigger funding allotment for the Pentagon and other security-related agencies while still securing a significant nondefense boost.

This year’s split is roughly in line with last year’s emergency spending agreement between Murray and Collins, which provided a total of nearly $14 billion, $8 billion of which went to the Defense bill. Senate appropriators were able to report all 12 bills out of committee for the first time in five years, although the minority Republicans unanimously voted against the official subcommittee allocations.

(Murray, Collins strike deal on fiscal 2024 emergency funds)

But that emergency spending did not make it into the final fiscal 2024 packages, as House Republicans pushed to cap overall spending at the levels agreed to in the debt limit deal. The same dynamic is playing out this year, and House Republicans are almost certain to oppose adding $34.5 billion in emergency spending, as they did last year.

Still, for some Republicans the added defense spending may prove tempting, even at the price of more money for domestic programs and foreign assistance. The proposed appropriations increase falls short of the overall $28 billion boost for national defense programs assumed in the Senate’s draft defense authorization bill, but it may be the best defense hawks can do in the current constrained fiscal environment.

Paul M. Krawzak contributed to this report.