The House passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure that averts a U.S. government shutdown and ends a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, a plan that ensures fiscal peace in Congress through most of 2016.
The measure adopted 316-113 Friday, as well as a plan reviving dozens of expired tax breaks while making some permanent, goes to the Senate for a final vote within hours. President Barack Obama plans to sign the measure, which will finance the government through September 2016.
“It advances conservative priorities in several areas and enacts significant reform in several areas, on everything from tax relief to energy policy to cybersecurity,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Thursday. “I plan to vote for it. I hope colleagues will choose to do the same.”
The end of the 40-year ban on most U.S. crude oil exports is a “big win,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, and it’s a top priority for Republicans. Democrats call it a giveaway to oil companies, and in exchange they negotiated extensions of environmental measures including solar and wind energy tax credits.
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The two measures, combined in H.R. 2029, include about $680 billion in revived tax breaks over the next 10 years. A number of them would be made permanent, including those for small business expenses, individual deductions for state and local sales taxes, and financing rules for multinational corporations.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have fought over taxing and spending for years, causing a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013 and twice bringing the U.S. to the brink of a default on the federal debt. Public opinion polls blamed Republicans for the turmoil, and the party under Ryan — elected Oct. 29 to replace John Boehner — wants to avoid a repeat with the 2016 presidential election approaching, to show that Republicans can govern.
The outcome of the House vote on the spending measure was not without drama. Even though Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi backed the plan and urged fellow Democrats to vote for it, she said Thursday she wasn’t confident her party could deliver enough votes to help Ryan get it passed. A number of conservative members of the Republican majority oppose the measure because they say it spends too much money.
“It is going to bust the deficit. We are not doing anything for yet another year to take the debt burden off our kids and grandkids,” Republican Representative John Fleming of Louisiana said Thursday.
Voting for the bill were 150 Republicans and 166 Democrats, while 95 Republicans and 18 Democrats opposed it. Ryan relied on Democratic votes to help pass the measure as Boehner often had to do. The former speaker’s decision to turn to Democrats for votes was a major complaint of the Republican insurgents who ousted him.
Still, Ryan got support from more than the 79 Republicans who voted for a two-year budget plan the day before he became speaker. Ryan has emphasized this week that the spending bill is the product of a process he inherited from Boehner and that he’ll pursue a different strategy next year.
“They had to put big oil in the omnibus” to get the spending measure passed, Pelosi told reporters Friday before the vote. Democrats had wanted the oil provisions to be added to the tax proposal instead.
Conservatives were unhappy when the final version omitted some policy provisions they wanted, including defunding Planned Parenthood and blocking Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican presidential contender, criticized Republican leaders in an opinion article in Politico that said the bill “effectively forfeits our massive Republican victories of 2014 and cements Obama’s priorities for nearly the full remainder of his term.”