House ap­proves $1.2T in spend­ing

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW TAY­LOR As­so­ci­ated Press

Wash­ing­ton — The Repub­li­can-led House on Thurs­day passed a sweep­ing $1.2 tril­lion spend­ing bill that pro­vides bil­lions more dol­lars for the mil­i­tary while spar­ing 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 the 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 leg­is­la­tion Congress passed last week and sent to Trump.

House mem­bers spent the past two weeks de­bat­ing the mea­sure’s $500 bil­lion for do­mes­tic agen­cies. GOP lead­ers then merged that do­mes­tic spend­ing pack­age 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 that he re­peat­edly has in­sisted Mex­ico would fi­nance.

“It does ev­ery­thing from strength­en­ing our na­tional de­fense and vet­er­ans’ pro­grams to crack­ing down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion to pro­tect­ing life to cut­ting abu­sive Wash­ing­ton agen­cies like the IRS and the EPA,” said the No. 2 House Repub­li­can, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Cal­i­for­nia. Speaker Paul Ryan. R-Wis., praised a pay raise for the mil­i­tary, bor­der se­cu­rity fund­ing, and “de­fund­ing” Planned Par­ent­hood as vic­to­ries for Repub­li­cans and Trump.

At is­sue are the spend­ing bills passed by Congress each year to fund day-to-day op­er­a­tions of fed­eral agen­cies. Trump, fol­low­ing the lead of bud­get di­rec­tor Mick Mul­vaney, a for­mer tea party con­gress­man, pushed for a sweep­ing in­crease for the Pen­tagon and com­men­su­rate cuts of more than $50 bil­lion from do­mes­tic agen­cies and for­eign aid.

House Repub­li­cans have re­sponded by adding even more spend­ing on de­fense, but have sig­nif­i­cantly scaled back Trump’s cuts to do­mes­tic pro­grams like com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment grants and re­search into rare dis­eases.

Trump has taken a low-pro­file on bud­get is­sues other than the wall, how­ever, and his ad­min­is­tra­tion 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.


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