By: Earnest Wright | 05-04-2017 | News
Photo credit: Photoeuphoria |

House Passes $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill - Democrats Declare Victory

A $1.2 trillion spending bill to keep the government open through September has been voted against by more than 100 House Republicans on Wednesday. The bill passed with a 309-118 vote that saw 103 Republican oppose the measure.

A Majority of the Republicans voted for the measure. However, the group was split significantly, 132-103. The Democrats were in much more favor of the bill, as 178 voted for it, and just 15 voted against it.

The disapproval from Republicans shows anger over how the bill was negotiated, which resulted in a final product that didn't include money for President Trump's border wall, and included funding for other Democratic priorities. Majority of the Republicans complained that the bill was written as if Republicans weren't in charge of the House, Senate and White House.

The bill is now headed to the Senate, where it is expected to be cleared for President Trump's signature before the May 5 deadline. Although many opposed it in his party, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the many of the Republicans' priorities would be advanced by the bill, adding that each side doesn't get everything it wants, but there was a possibility to come together on a package that supports many of the important goals.

The legislation includes an extra $15 billion for defense spending, and an additional $1.5 billion for border security, the largest boost in a decade.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, the Defense Appropriations subcommittee chair said that the move was a critical step in fixing the potholes in military readiness.

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., a top member of the House Appropriations Committee pointed out that the bill will save lives as it also provides funding for two recently passed bills aimed at fighting and treating the opioid epidemic.

However, the legislation failed to attract the support of conservatives, who were angered the GOP-led House, Senate and White House were not able to secure a deal with more Republican priorities. The border security funding, for example, cannot be used to construct a new southern border wall promised by President Trump.

The nonappearance of the border wall is partly why Democrats acclaimed the legislation as a victory for their party, along with the absence of language banning funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Democrats had threatened to block the bill if so-called poison pill provisions were included, which would have provoked a partial government shutdown that typically spells political disaster for the GOP.

Ryan said that the GOP obtained more defense spending without an equal-sized increase on the domestic size, as had been tradition under the previous administration. The overall defense spending was boosted by $25 billion in the fiscal 2017 spending bill over last year.


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