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House passes $1.3T spending bill

House passes $1.3T spending bill
Posted at 10:08 AM, Mar 22, 2018

The House has passed a $1.3 trillion spending package that will increase funding for the military and domestic spending and will keep the government funded through the end of September.

The legislation passed with Democrats and Republicans coming together to pass it less than 24 hours after the 2,300-page bill was made public.

Now, it's up to the Senate to pass it before the government runs out of money Friday at midnight. The Senate need unanimous consent -- meaning all members have to agree -- to bring the bill up for a timely vote. If one member objects, it could force the government into a brief shutdown.



The massive spending package marks the end of a months-long funding stalemate in which lawmakers were forced to pass one short-term spending bill after another to stave off a shutdown. The package includes more than just money to fight the opioid epidemic, pay the military and fund more than $21 billion in infrastructure projects. It also includes policy changes like one that would incentivize states to enter more records into the country's gun background check system and another that would cut off aide to the Palestinian Authority until Palestinians cease making payments to the families of terrorists.

President Donald Trump will sign the omnibus bill if it reaches his desk, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters on Thursday.

Mulvaney admitted that the bill wasn't prefect and wasn't exactly what the White House wanted, but that -- on the whole -- the bill "funds (Trump's) priorities."

While the bill attracted broad bipartisan support in the House, it didn't win over everyone. On the right, lawmakers blasted the bill as a prime example of Washington's bloated spending.

"If the bill passed the way it is, I would -- I hope the White House does -- does veto it. I don't know if they will. It's been a long process so they may not, but I think it's not good for the American taxpayer, and it's not consistent with -- in any way close to consistent with what we said we would do when they elected us in 2016," said Jim Jordan, a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

On the left, some Democrats rejected the proposal because it didn't include permanent protectees under for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"Anyone who votes for the omnibus is voting for the deportation of Dreamers and other immigrants. You will be voting to take money from law-abiding taxpayers -- some of whom are immigrants -- and give that money to privately-run prisons that will make a profit off of each and every human being our government hands over to them for detention and then deportation," Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, said in a statement.

The internal GOP backlash to the amount of spending and the process of rushing the measure through just 16 hours after it was released was on full display on the House floor on Thursday. Twenty-five House Republicans broke with their leadership and opposed the usually party line procedural vote bringing up the legislation. But the measure narrowly passed 211-207.