The House passed a shutdown-avoiding $1.17 trillion spending bill that President Donald Trump plans to sign even though Democrats were able to defeat most of his wish list, including money for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 309-118 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate, which plans to act before current funding expires after Friday. While the measure buys peace for five months, Trump on Tuesday threatened a “good shutdown” in September or a Senate rule change to keep the minority party from wielding similar power on the next spending plan.
Democrats claimed victory over Republicans on the bipartisan measure, which excluded funding for the southern border wall and avoided $18 billion in domestic spending cuts sought by Trump. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney accused Democrats of “spiking the football” and said the bill’s $21 billion in added defense spending — which includes $6 billion from the Obama administration — was a win for Republicans.
“This is a great deal for the president,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters before the vote.
Those voting for the spending bill included 131 Republicans and 178 Democrats, while the measure was opposed by 103 Republicans and 15 Democrats.
Trump will sign the spending measure if passed by the Senate in its current form, the administration said in a statement. The White House did express concern about Congress’s lack of “fiscal restraint,” and Trump complained on Twitter that the compromise was needed because “we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!”
‘Uninformed and Irresponsible’
Second-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland sharply criticized Trump’s shutdown threat as “flippant, uninformed and irresponsible.” The spending bill “reflects both rationality and reasonableness” and includes provisions backed by both parties, he said on the House floor.
Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, said in an interview, “This sets the framework for the next negotiations and the dynamics aren’t going to change; they’re still going to need our votes.”
Wednesday’s vote was overshadowed in the House by intense talks over whether Republicans will gain enough support to vote on their plan to overhaul Obamacare. Key holdout Fred Upton of Michigan announced his support after offering an amendment to provide more federal funds for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP leaders hope to hold a vote before leaving for a week-long recess.
The spending bill agreement demonstrates the constraints on a unified Republican government that still needs Democratic help to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. With 52 Republican senators and a fractured GOP majority in the House, most legislation still needs bipartisan support to become law. A number of House Republicans regularly refuse to support large spending bills.
Democrats succeeded in eliminating 160 policy provisions they opposed, secured health benefits for retired miners and helped Puerto Rico fund its Medicaid program. Instead of placing stricter limits on legal immigration, the spending bill extends an investor visa program, expands a low-skilled workers’ visa program and would allow thousands of more Afghan refugees.
House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the bill’s increased military spending and called it a win for Republicans.