Wednesday

October 23rd, 2019

Nation

House passes bill to boost defense, fund border wall

Mike DeBonis

By Mike DeBonis The Washington Post

Published July 26, 2017

House passes bill to boost defense, fund border wall

WASHINGTON - The House passed a $790 billion spending bill Thursday that would increase military funding and pave the way for construction of a wall along 72 miles of the Mexican border. It has, however, virtually no chance of becoming law.


The bill blasts through the defense spending cap enacted under the 2011 Budget Control Act by $72 billion. If enacted, the bill would result in an across-the-board 13 percent cut in Pentagon spending absent an agreement with Democrats to lift the caps.


But House Republican leaders praised the bill Thursday - which combined fiscal 2018 appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Energy and the legislative branch in addition to the Defense Department - as a muscular statement of Republican policy priorities that will set the stage for later talks with Democrats. The $1.6 billion in border wall funding was pulled from a separate homeland security bill.


The bill passed the House 235-192, with five Republicans voting against and five Democrats voting in favor. Eight other spending bills that have cleared the House Appropriations Committee await action; GOP leaders chose not to bring them to the floor despite pressure from appropriators eager to see Republican spending priorities passed through the House.


"We must be vigilant in protecting our homeland. That's our priority," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a statement. "This legislation funds the most critical functions of government. It secures our borders by providing funding for a wall on our southern border. It gives our service members a raise and ensures they have the tools they need to complete their missions. Additionally, the legislation takes care of our veterans here at home who have kept us safe."

But Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, called the bill "a fraudulent presentation to the American people" that could not possibly be enacted into law.


A pair of controversial amendments that would have defunded the Congressional Budget Office failed on the House floor Wednesday night. But Lowey said the bill that passed Thursday, as well as the other spending bills in the House hopper, contain plenty of other "poison pills" that would lead Democrats to block them in the Senate, where most legislation must garner a three-fifths majority.


No provision, she said, is more objectionable than the money to build President Trump's border wall: "To tack on this wall, which is so immoral and so distasteful to the majority of our caucus, really is unfortunate," she said.


Current federal spending authority expires on Sept. 30, and federal agencies will partially shut down then if a spending accord is not reached beforehand.

Comment by clicking here.

Previously:

07/26/17 Republicans defend Sessions against attacks and warn that a move against Mueller could lead to a lawmaker revolt

07/18/17: House GOP unveils budget plan that attaches major spending cuts to coming tax reform bill

06/19/17: Today: Tougher immigration policies face first major legislative test in Trump era

06/17/17: A Watch out, Pelosi: Top GOP super PAC sets its 2018 strategy

06/13/17: A draft resolution of impeachment includes some intergenerational copying-and-pasting.

06/23/16: Why House Republicans aren't giving in to Dems' demands for a gun vote

06/16/16: Marco Rubio says he will reconsider leaving Senate

06/07/16: The biggest question in Florida politics: 'Is Rubio running or what?'

05/13/16: Ryan is torn between his conservative principles and his institutional responsibility, with his future as a national leader hanging in the balance

05/10/16: Is Paul Ryan in danger of being 'Cantored'?

03/09/16: How Trump is ruining Paul Ryan's speakership

02/09/16: Memo to Paul Ryan: Obama shouldn't get a pass

01/29/16: How Ted Cruz earned one of the few Capitol Hill endorsements that matters to conservatives

12/09/15: Leadership worries that many House GOP members are voting 'no' on tough bills while hoping they pass

12/07/15: House Freedom Caucus looking to flex its new muscle in 2016 races

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles