Senate signs off on $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill early Friday to fund the government for the next six months. File Photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo

By Susan McFarlandUPI

The Senate passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill early Friday to fund the government for the next six months.

Now it just needs President Donald Trump‘s signature.

The 2,200-page spending bill secures boosts for domestic and military spending, something Trump and congressional Republicans supported. The Senate passed the bill in a 65-32 vote after midnight Thursday. It was passed by the House passed earlier, 256-167.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said, “the House just voted to rebuild our military, secure our borders, and give our service members their largest pay raise in 8 years.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “every bill takes compromise, and there was plenty here, but at the end of the day, we Democrats feel very good because so many of our priorities for the middle class were included.”

“From opioid funding to rural broadband, and from student loans to child care, this bill puts workers and families first,” he added.

The White House has indicated that Trump will sign the bill Friday.

Along with money to boost the military, the package includes $2.8 billion to fight the opioid epidemic and pay for more than $21 billion in infrastructure projects. The bill also includes about $700 million for election security, giving more money to the FBI to better conduct counter-intelligence to fight Russian cyberattacks.

Policy changes in the package include an incentive for states to enter more records into the country’s gun background check system and another policy that would halt aide to the Palestinian Authority until Palestinians cease making payments to families of terrorists.

Not every lawmaker was pleased with the outcome. The bill was criticized for its bloated spending and rushed process, not being consistent with what conservative voters would have wanted.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted throughout the evening and at one point called it a night: “I shared 600 pages tonight. I’m done tweeting them for the evening. If they insist on voting, I will vote no because it spends to much and there’s just too little time to read the bill and let everyone know what’s actually in it.”

Some Democrats rejected the proposal because it includes $1.6 million in border security but no permanent protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., anyone who votes for the omnibus is voting for the deportation of “Dreamers” and other immigrants.

“You will be voting to take money from law-abiding taxpayers — some of whom are immigrants — and give that money to privately-run prisons that will make a profit off of each and every human being our government hands over to them for detention and then deportation,” Gutierrez said.