The House passed a spending bill Tuesday that will fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year, which averted a government shutdown fight but drew criticism from conservatives.
The House passed the $1.4 trillion spending bill with bipartisan support.
The bill will fund $1.375 billion for establishing borders and increasing security along the southern border. The spending bill does not alter the number of detention beds for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and does not limit President Trump’s national emergency authority to reappropriate money to build a wall on the border.
The spending package will raise the required age to purchase tobacco to 21 and repeal three Obamacare taxes, such as the health insurance tax, the medical device tax, and the “Cadillac tax” on high-end insurance plans.
The House Freedom Caucus opposed the spending bill, believing that the bill added too much to the national debt and failed to provide enough money to secure the border.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said that congressional leaders dropped the text of the bill at the last minute. He explained in a statement Tuesday:
Congress continues to pass trillion-dollar spending bills with no concern for the fiscal burden we are leaving future generations of Americans. These two spending packages were dropped last night, allowing Members of Congress effectively no time to read or vet the contents, and will only add to America’s already soaring national debt.
Just recently, our national debt topped $23 trillion, and is steadily climbing. Congress consistently fails to debate and pass appropriations bills in a timely manner, and, just as consistently, fails to pass bills that would balance our budget. We have headed towards the edge of a cliff, with no remorse or plan to correct our course. I implore my colleagues to make the difficult decisions to ensure that our grandchildren’s financial futures are not compromised by our repeated dereliction of duty.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a Freedom Caucus member, noted on the House floor Tuesday that Trump promised not to sign another last-minute bill and hopes that the president vetoes the spending bill.
Last Spring, @realDonaldTrump said: "I will never sign another bill like this again. I'm not going to do it."
Mr. President, I look forward to your veto. pic.twitter.com/HuBogcP3BD
— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) December 17, 2019
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) also criticized congressional appropriators for releasing the bill at the last minute, saying, “We had less than 24 hours to review 2,000+ pages AND they added tax credits to it last night.”
The two halves of the Omnibus bill just passed with veto proof majorities.
297 : 120
280 : 138
We had less than 24 hours to review 2,000+ pages AND they added tax credits to it last night.#readthebills
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 17, 2019