Hoouse backs $1.2 tril­lion bill with fewer bud­get cuts

Mil­i­tary spend­ing up; grants and re­search in­cluded.

Dayton Daily News - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By An­drew Tay­lor As­so­ci­ated Press

— The Repub­li­can-led House on Thurs­day passed a sweep­ing $1.2 tril­lion spend­ing bill that pro

vides bil­lions more dol­lars for the mil­i­tary while spar

ing med­i­cal re­search and pop­u­lar com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment pro­grams from deep cuts sought by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The vote was 211-198 for the mas­sive mea­sure that wrapped t he 12 an­nual spend­ing bills into one in ad­vance of the end of the bud­get year on Sept. 30.

Even though the Se­nate still must act, the gov­ern­ment will keep op­er­at­ing through Dec. 8, thanks to a debt ceil- ing in­crease Congress passed last week and sent to Trump.

House mem­bers spent the past two weeks de­bat­ing the spend­ing mea­sure’s $500 bil­lion for do­mes­tic agen­cies. GOP lead­ers then merged that spend­ing pack- age with an earlier House mea­sure that would give record bud­get in­creases to the Pen­tagon and pro­vide a $1.6 bil­lion down pay­ment for Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der.

“It does ev­ery­thing from strength­en­ing our na­tional de­fense and veter­ans’ pro­grams to crack­ing down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion to protecting life to cut­ting abu- sive Wash­ing­ton agen­cies like

the IRS and the EPA,” said the No. 2 House Repub­li­can, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Cal- ifor­nia. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the bill’s pay raise for the mil­i­tary, bor­der se­cu­rity fund­ing, and de­fund­ing Planned Par­ent­hood as vic­to­ries for Repub- li­cans and Trump.

Trump, fol­low­ing the lead of bud­get di­rec­tor Mick Mul­vaney, a for­mer tea party con­gress­man, had pushed for a sweep­ing in­crease for the Pen­tagon bal­anced by cuts of more than $50 bil- lion from do­mes­tic agen- cies and for­eign aid.

House Repub­lic a ns re­sponded by adding even more spend­ing on de­fense, but they sig­nif­i­cantly scaled back Trump’s pro­posed cuts to pro­grams like commu-

nity de­vel­op­ment grants and re­search into rare diseases.

Trump has kept a low pro­file on bud­get is­sues other than the wall, and his ad­min- is­tra­tion has done lit­tle to fight for his spend­ing cuts since they were un­veiled.

The House mea­sure adds al­most $9 bil­lion to Trump’s fund­ing re­quest for med­i­cal re­search at the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health. It keeps a $269 mil­lion sub­sidy for money-los­ing flights to ru­ral air­ports, which Trump had tar­geted. And it gives modest in­creases to GOP fa­vorites such as law en­force­ment agen­cies and NASA.

But not all non-mil­i­tary pro­grams es­caped the knife. House Repub­li­cans voted to slash spend­ing for stud­ies on cli­mate change, elim­i­nate

Ti­tle X fam­ily plan­ning funds and sharply cut for­eign aid ac­counts, though not as dras- tically as Trump pro­posed. A trans­porta­tion grant pro­gram started by for­mer Pres- ident Barack Obama would be elim­i­nated, as would hir- ing grants for lo­cal po­lice de­part­ments.

The lim­its im­posed by a prior bud­get agree- ment threaten the mea­sure’s sweep­ing Pen­tagon in­creases, which to­tal about $60 bil­lion above cur­rent lev­els and al­most $30 bil­lion higher than Trump’s bud­get. That would evap­o­rate next year un­less there’s a bi­par­ti­san agree­ment to raise them.

‘It does ev­ery­thing from strength­en­ing our na­tional de­fense … to protecting life.’ Rep. Kevin McCarthy No. 2 House Repub­li­can

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks after the pas­sage Thurs­day of a $1.2 tril­lion spend­ing bill to fund the gov­ern­ment at the Capi­tol in Wash­ing­ton with (from left) Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky.; Rep. Rod­ney Frel­inghuy­sen, R-N.J., chair­man of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee; Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.; Rep. Mike Coff­man, R-Colo.; Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas; Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.; and Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga.

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