House Passes $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, Starting Process to Avert Shutdown
Massive measure was released the night before the vote, so members didn’t have time to read it
The House on Thursday passed a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, starting the process for averting a government shutdown and ending government funding by stopgap.
The vote was 256-167. The bill includes funding boosts for defense that Republicans sought, as well as for domestic programs on the nondefense side of the ledger that Democrats sought.
But the amount of spending was too much for many conservatives who voted against the bill. Some Republicans also thought their party failed to secure key priorities like full funding for a wall along the southern border and the defunding of sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood.
Democrats, too, found things to dislike in the deal, namely its exclusion of protections for so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. They also complained that Republicans prevented a health care stabilization package from making it into the omnibus.
McConnell: Omnibus Not ‘Perfect’ But Contains Victories
Members of both parties also complained about the rushed process. The omnibus was unveiled around 8 p.m. Wednesday, meaning lawmakers barely had 17 hours to review the more than 2,200-page measure before the 1 p.m. vote Thursday.
Still, the measure is on track for approval and a presidential signature, although timing in the Senate is iffy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont outside his office that the Senate will vote on omnibus “whenever Sen. Paul decides we can,” a nod to Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s possible objection to moving to the bill.
Paul said he is “on page 56 right now and so I’ve got a few more pages to read” of the omnibus but did not reveal whether he will delay a vote.
Whenever the Senate does take it up and pass it, President Donald Trump will sign the omnibus spending bill, senior administration officials said as they knocked down the notion that the president thought he would get all his demands.
“Is the president going to sign the bill?” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said of the president and the omnibus spending bill. “Yes.”
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Paul Krawzak and John T. Bennett contributed to this report.