House passes $1.2T spending bill that scraps Trump, GOP priorities

Both parties declared victory Wednesday with the spending bill's passage.
By Doug G. Ware  |  May 3, 2017 at 5:34 PM
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May 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a $1.17 trillion spending bill to avoid a shutdown of the federal government, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it -- even though it scraps many items he wanted in the bill.

The lower chamber passed the measure by a vote of 309-to-118 to advance it to the Senate, which is expected to vote on it before the current funding runs out Friday. Last week, Congress and Trump approved an extension for short-term funding that runs through the end of this week.

The Senate and president are expected to approve the spending package to keep the government operating for another five months, even though several priority items on Trump's wish list were removed -- including money to help fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and $18 billion in cuts to domestic spending.

The measure does, however, include $21 billion in additional defense spending.

"Together, with the Trump White House, we will rebuild our armed forces and give our troops the equipment they need to succeed," House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted Wednesday. "The spending parity requirement held the military hostage for bloated domestic spending. This bill breaks that."

"This is a great deal for the president," Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday.

House Republicans were split nearly in half Wednesday concerning the bill, which was negotiated last week. The vote tally showed 131 Republicans favored the bill while 105 opposed it. Just 15 Democrats voted against the measure.

Democrats hailed the Omnibus bill's passage as a victory because it stripped so many Trump administration efforts, like the border wall.

"This [bill] rejects funding for President Trump's Border Wall with Mexico and deportation force, as well as numerous high profile, controversial riders put forward by Republicans, including changes to Dodd-Frank, further limits on a woman's access to contraceptives or a woman's right to choose, efforts to roll back protections for American workers, and scores of others," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who previously called Trump's shutdown threat "flippant, uninformed and irresponsible," said in a statement. "While additional [$1.5 billion in] funding has been included to increase border security, it cannot be used to plan or build the President Trump's Border Wall."

Trump said Tuesday he will support a "good shutdown" later this year when the next spending bill arrives -- or a Senate rule change to keep Democrats from having so much influence over Republicans' efforts.

The measure reduces cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and provides $2 billion in extra funding to the National Institutes of Health -- two areas Trump has wanted to cut substantially.

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