Senate to send $1.1T spending bill to Trump

Published on Thursday, 4 May 2017 19:59
Written by Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has delivered to President Donald Trump the first significant legislation of his presidency, a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running through September. The 79-18 vote sends the huge bill to the White House well in time to avert a midnight Friday deadline.

Negotiators on the bill dropped Trump’s demands for a down payment on his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but his signature would buy five months of stability while lawmakers battle again over the wall and Trump’s demands for a huge military buildup, along with cuts to popular domestic programs and foreign aid accounts.

The House passed the measure Wednesday on a big bipartisan vote, though 103 conservative Republicans opposed it.

Trump won $15 billion in additional Pentagon spending and $1.5 billion in emergency border security funds but was denied funding to begin construction work on his oft-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

And Democrats and the pragmatic Republicans that negotiated the bill successfully defended other accounts targeted by Trump such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts, and economic development grants, among others.

The sweeping, 1,665-page bill also increases spending for NASA, medical research, and federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI.

Trump took to Twitter earlier this week to complain about the bipartisan process that produced the measure but changed course to crow about additional spending for the military and border security. The White House has said he’ll sign the bill.

One of Trump’s tweets advocated for a “good shutdown” this fall to fix the “mess” that produced the bill, though he appeared at the White House just hours later to boast that it was a big win for him.

Congressional Republicans - motivated in great measure by fear of a politically damaging government shutdown - worked closely with minority party Democrats to produce the measure, which made only small changes to most accounts covered by the measure.

But many rank-and-file Republicans saw the bill as a lost opportunity for a fight that could have produced victories on the wall and punishing “sanctuary” cities that fail to cooperate with immigration authorities.

“It is a win for Democrats and a loss for conservatives,” said tea party Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. “We have a Republican in the White House and control of both chambers of Congress yet this legislation fails to include key conservative reforms Republicans have long-advocated.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Thursday, 4 May 2017 19:59. Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2017 20:01.