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House Passes Omnibus Bill

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives unveiled an omnibus spending bill in an attempt to avoid another government shutdown.

The 2,232 page bill presents a $1.3 trillion spending package that would aim to fund government operations and services until September 30. The bill’s provisions include increases in child care and development block grants, expansions of low-income housing tax credit, funding for border security, and improvements to infrastructure nationwide.

The day after the spending package was released, the House voted 256-167, gaining bipartisan support to pass the legislation. Despite the passage, however, criticism arose from both parties. While some Democratic representatives abstained from voting, additional members rejected the proposal because it did not outline any protections for DACA recipients.

Republicans and fiscal conservatives who advocate for minimizing government debt and reducing government spending also expressed discontent with the bill. In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), vice chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, took a shot at the spending package, saying, “This may be the worst bill I have seen in my time in Congress, the worst bill our leadership has ever allowed to come to the floor.” 

   
  
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    Credit: Carolyn Kaster

Credit: Carolyn Kaster

The bill now moves to the Senate, which has until Saturday morning to pass another bill in order to prevent a third government shutdown of the year. With Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, eyes are set on a handful of moderate Republicans and Democrats to pass the legislation. Among them are Rand Paul (R-KY), who caused a brief shutdown by filibustering on the floor back in February.

Paul argues, “We really have too much compromise in Washington. They are always compromising to raise spending and increase the debt.” His aid later added, “We want a real process and time to debate, amend and vote.”

   
  
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    Credit: Drew Angerer

Credit: Drew Angerer

With the clock ticking, the White House has already signaled that President Trump would sign the bill if it arrives to his desk. On Thursday, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, noted to reporters that the bill “ultimately funds Trump’s priorities.” 

   
  
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    Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

Should the bill pass in the Senate and President Trump signs the legislation, the budget will be on track to become one of the greatest spending packages in history as it attempts to allocate funding towards long-awaited programs and projects, such as infrastructure. Ben Ritz, a former budget analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center tweeted, “If the bill passes, it is pretty much the end of fiscal discipline.”