House, Senate pass omnibus, bill goes to Trump
The House and the Senate have both passed the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through Sept. 30, averting a government shutdown.
The House on Thursday voted 256-167 to approve the bill, which provides $1.3 trillion in appropriations. The Senate followed early Friday by a vote of 65-32. The measure, which now goes to the president, includes all 12 of the annual appropriations bills for this fiscal year. The bill contains many sections and provisions affecting agriculture and food.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who will retire April 1, said, “This important legislation reflects the realities now facing our nation. We must begin to reinvest in our defense. The country’s infrastructure needs rebuilding, and we must protect our citizens from the problems associated with our vulnerable borders. All Americans will see benefits from this legislation, and I’m pleased to finish my career with the enactment of an appropriations bill.”
Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, “By lifting the spending caps set in place by the Budget Control Act, we have been able to invest in the American people and take an important step toward undoing the damage done by sequestration to our military, our infrastructure, and our communities. This would not have been possible without months of bipartisan negotiations, tough choices, and good faith compromises. And I want to thank my dear friend Thad Cochran for being a steadfast partner throughout this process.”
“We were able to eliminate more than 130 poison-pill riders, which would have restricted women’s access to health care, rolled back environmental protections, and put significant restrictions on consumer financial protections,” Leahy said.
“We invested $18.25 billion into rebuilding our infrastructure and $3.3 billion to combat the opioid crisis that is gripping our country. This bill makes new investments in child care, national security, election security, medical research, our nation’s veterans, and so much more.
“I do not agree with everything in this bill, but this bill represents tangible progress that will benefit all Americans.”
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Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., ranking member on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, said today he expects to be indicted on allegations he lied to federal investigators about illegal contributions in 2016 from a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire.