WASHINGTON — The Senate gave final approval on Thursday to a two-year budget deal that would raise federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and allow the government to continue borrowing money, sending the measure to President Trump for his expected signature.
Barely half of the Republican majority joined almost all of the Democrats in voting for the measure, 67-28, after a deal largely negotiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stoked conservative dissatisfaction over Washington’s failure to cut government spending. Democrats pointed to large Republican tax cuts as the latest driver pushing the surging expansion of the federal debt and claimed victory for the increases in domestic spending.
The budget deficit through June of this fiscal year reached $746 billion, up from $607 billion at the same time last year, despite healthy economic growth. Yet the agreement now heading to Mr. Trump would raise military and domestic spending by $320 billion over existing statutory spending gaps for this fiscal year and next.
“Given the exigencies of a divided government, we knew any bipartisan agreement on funding levels would not appear perfect to either side,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said in a floor speech on Wednesday.
“I trust that none of my colleagues are under the illusion that our work is finished,” he added. “The bipartisan funding deal is the opportunity — the only opportunity — on the table to continue filling these gaps before it’s too late”
Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff who adamantly opposed federal spending as a House member from South Carolina, said on Sunday that he was confident about the president’s support because of the investment in military spending.
“Keep in mind, the bill spends more money than the president wanted to spend — there’s no question about that,” Mr. Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “When the Democrats won the House, everybody knew that we would end up spending more money. So what did we get in exchange? We got more money for defense, which we think that we need. We got more money for the V.A., which we think that we needed.”
But the 23 Republican defections marked the latest orchestrated rebuke to the president, a significant number to be sure but not enough to actually derail a White House priority. Five Democrats also opposed the budget deal, including two running for president as moderates, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
An amendment offered by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, that would have cut spending and required a balanced budget got only 23 votes.
The deal follows other measures that have increased spending substantially under Mr. Trump — and a 10-year tax cut expected to cost the Treasury at least $1.5 trillion. Some Republicans argued that both sides had lost any sense of fiscal responsibility by settling for meager spending cuts in a measure that raises spending over existing caps by $320 billion. The agreement provides for $77.4 billion in spending cuts, half the $150 billion in cuts that some in the White House had demanded.
“I get that a lot of people worked hard on it,” said Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida. But, he added, “I’m worried about the $22 trillion in debt.”
Others framed their vote as a necessary capitulation in the face of divided government and the potentially catastrophic possibility that the Treasury Department could run out of money before the full Congress returned from the August recess.
“Every budget deal, every negotiated compromise — there’s a hundred reasons to vote no,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. “This is the best deal you’re going to get in divided government.”
Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, applauded the uptick in military spending: “Even though I have to hold my nose and accept some other things, that’s what governing is about,” she said.
Passage of the two-year bill allowed senators to escape Washington for a monthlong recess and cleared away two big fiscal hurdles for lawmakers eager to avoid another government shutdown. The debt ceiling will not be a problem until after the next presidential election, and total spending numbers are set for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years.
“I could think of some things to make it better, but it’s a hell of a lot better than flirting with a shutdown,” said Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia. “It’s a hell of a lot better than slashing the nondefense discretionary budget the way the president wants to.”
But the budget deal offers Congress only a rudimentary outline for how to keep the government fully funded past Sept. 30. Lawmakers must now race to detail how they will disburse that money across all federal departments and agencies in 12 spending bills.
“There are people of both parties who want to make it work,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said last week. “It will be bipartisan, which is good for us.”
An overwhelming majority of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has not started formally drafting any of the spending bills, voted for the budget deal. Since the government reopened this year after the country’s longest government shutdown, the committee has drafted only one bill, an emergency package for the southwestern border.
By comparison, the House Appropriations Committee has approved its 12 spending bills and sent 10 of them through the full House. But the bills include a number of liberal policy provisions that must be removed, after Ms. Pelosi and other negotiators agreed to keep any “poison pills” out of the final product.
Among the provisions most likely to be removed from the bill: language that would have curtailed some of the administration’s efforts to ramp up migrant detention and to construct a wall at the southwestern border, a measure to prevent fuel-economy standards from being rolled back and another to keep the United States in the Paris climate accord.
A similar agreement barring such policy provisions from both sides of the aisle was struck last year by the top senators on the Appropriations Committee.
“It’s not a big surprise,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a member of the committee. “It’ll probably enable the bills to go across the floor more easily in a bipartisan way.”
Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, said, “I can’t predict what battles this place is going to have in the future,” but she added, “we’re all working to move forward.”