Politics

Senate Clears $1 Trillion Omnibus for President’s Signature

Bill funds government through September

Sen. Roy Blunt, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were among the Republicans speaking in support of the omnibus ahead of Thursday's vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Months later than many appropriators would have liked, the voting has wrapped up its work to fund the government through the end of September.

Senators voted 79-18 to send the $1.07 trillion omnibus bill, which featured the remaining 11 of the 12 regular spending measures as well as a variety of emergency spending measures, on to President Donald Trump.

Despite the president’s frustrations with the process, which he made clear on Twitter, he is expected to sign the deal to avoid a government shutdown.

Without the time agreement reached to vote Thursday afternoon, the Senate could have been in session into Saturday working through the procedural steps to pass the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell highlighted several of the bill’s priorities Thursday, including funding to address the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic.

“It includes the largest border-security funding increase in a decade — allowing our country to better support border security agents, enhance technology, and update critical infrastructure at the border.  It includes important resources to help us begin rebuilding our military — allowing our country to give servicemembers more of the tools they need, and fund a much-needed raise for our men and women in uniform,” the Kentucky Republican said. “And, as I’ve outlined several times this week, this legislation includes a number of other conservative priorities as well.”

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a top appropriator and a member of McConnell's leadership team, noted that while the big-picture spending might not look that much different than it would have before Trump took office, there were shifts.

“It’s really important ... for the people who we work for to understand that we had to make choices,” Blunt said in a floor speech.

While Democrats were happy with the results of the negotiations, citing significant achievements during a victory lap early in the week, the bill received a majority of support among Republicans in the House.

The House sent the measure to the Senate on Wednesday.

And while there were conservative critics like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, they decided against delaying the inevitable Senate passage.

“We should be funding our priorities, not perpetuating Democrats’ big government programs,” the GOP senator said. “While I cannot support this bill, I look forward to the opportunity moving forward to enact our shared conservative policies — repealing and replacing Obamacare, securing our Southern border, and reducing taxes and regulations to help create more good-paying jobs in Texas and across the nation.”

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