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US Congress OKs spending bill averting gov't shutdown
May 30 2017, 07:18 | Irvin Gilbert
Push to pin health care vote on vulnerable Republicans beginsMore
The bipartisan, almost $1.2 trillion measure comes after weeks of negotiations. Republicans are now hoping to get something passed before they leave for another recess on Thursday evening.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is assuring conservatives that the bipartisan bill is a win for Trump and Republicans controlling Congress.
Trump "can construct a shutdown in such a way - because he determines what is essential and what's not essential - to make it quite painful for Democrats during a shutdown", said Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
The president Tweeted Thursday: "If victorious, Republicans will be having a big press conference at the lovely Rose Garden of the White House immediately after vote!"
The Senate is likely to pass the spending bill before a midnight Friday deadline. More than a dozen opponents said they were still no despite the latest changes. "Our job is to do what we told the voters we were going to do".
Leaders say they plan to do it Thursday and have the votes to prevail.
On Tuesday, Trump called the bill a "clear win for the American people", while Ryan said "this is what winning looks like".
In truth, both sides can claim victory in the sense that they governed like adults rather than churlish children - which is not always the case in the chambers of Congress. Republicans secured a $26 billion increase in defense spending over the previous year and a $1.5 billion boost for border security.
But they generally applauded a separate $1 trillion-plus spending measure to keep the government running, which passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 309-118. "You will glow in the dark on this one".
House Democrats rejected the latest proposed change to the Republican legislation on Wednesday, saying it appears to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, but some could still be pushed off their insurance in certain states and face higher costs.
He abandoned a second attempt for a vote last week.
After an earlier defeat when Republican leaders were forced to pull the bill for lack of votes, the decision to move forward indicated confidence on the part of GOP leaders.
The House measure collapsed in March due to opposition by conservative and moderate GOP lawmakers.
It would retain Obama's requirement that family policies cover grown children until age 26. Many senators consider the House bill too harsh and it's expected to undergo substantial changes.
The president's plan to build the border wall, first proposed in the early days of his campaign almost two years ago, was part of a contentious budget fight last week.
"Essentially what it is is a bunch of people in a back room negotiating how we should spend trillions of dollars", said McCaskill.
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The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad would receive $324 million, or $53 million more than Trump asked for in his first budget proposal earlier this year. That office also said the bill's subsidies would be less generous for many, especially lower-earning and older people not yet 65 and qualifying for Medicare. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham - voted for the spending bill Wednesday, and Sens.
"Today we're here announcing that with this addition that we brought to the president and sold him on in over an hour meeting in here with him, that we're both yeses on the bill", Long told reporters.
The legislation adds $12.5 billion in defense spending. That was on top of $130 billion already in the bill for states to help customers, though critics said those amounts were insufficient.
Republicans have 238 seats in the House of Representatives, where 218 is a majority.