House Passes $1.3 Trillion, 2,232-Page Omnibus Spending Bill

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes questions from reporters about the massive government spending bill moving through Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP/J. Scott Applewhite

The House passed the $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page omnibus spending bill on Thursday, sending the bill to the Senate; Congress must pass the omnibus before midnight on Friday to avert a government shutdown.

The House passed the omnibus 255-167, featuring bipartisan support despite conservative opposition to the legislation.

The House voted to advance the legislation to a floor vote on Thursday morning 211-207.

Republican leadership released the omnibus bill on Wednesday night giving legislators less than 17 hours to read the bill. 

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) slammed the passage of the omnibus in a statement on Thursday:

This is wrong. This is not the limited government conservatism our voters demand. Our constituents—our employers—deserve better.

Republicans in Congress today were faced with a choice: Vote ‘yes’ and fund the military while embracing record levels of spending with a list of unfulfilled promises; Or vote no, go back to the drawing board, and get to work on a real proposal, with a real process, that funds our troops and actually fights to deliver the bill of goods that we promised the American people.

Members of the Freedom Caucus chose to vote no, because this omnibus doesn’t just forget the promises we made to voters—it flatly rejects them.

The White House backed the omnibus spending bill after President Donald Trump discussed the bill with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement:

The president and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combatting the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Wednesday night, “Every bill takes compromise, and there was plenty here, but at the end of the day we Democrats feel very good because so many of our priorities for the middle class were included.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows lamented in an interview with Breitbart News Daily on Tuesday that the “Senate Democrats seem to be calling most of the shots.”

As Breitbart News reported, the omnibus spending bill contains language that explicitly bars funding for a southern border wall.

The omnibus also contains provisions that expand the H-2B visa-worker program, which would reduce market pressure on companies to offer American workers higher wages.

Republican leadership also included provisions that will allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct gun research. The omnibus also includes the Fix NICS Act, which would allow for unelected bureaucrats to remove Americans’ right to purchase firearms without due process.

The omnibus spending bill includes funding for the New York Gateway Bridge project that will benefit Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The House Freedom Caucus sternly opposed the omnibus bill; the conservatives sent a letter to the White House, urging president Donald Trump to reject the legislation.

The House conservatives said that the bill “outright rejects” the promises conservatives made to the voters.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) told Fox News on Sunday that Democrats have not abandoned their base by refusing to shut down the government over DACA illegal aliens.

Durbin said, “We’re not going to have a shutdown, but I’m urging leaders to come together and understand there’s an emergency here. We have to move on a bipartisan basis.”

“We got about 80% of what we were trying to get, and if you can’t accept 80%, then the system can’t function,” Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said in an interview.

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