The budget is in! But some proposals are definitely being left behind as lawmakers have finally come to an agreement on a $1.3 trillion budget bill.
On Wednesday, the spending bill was finalized in just enough time to avoid another government shutdown. House Speaker Paul Ryan made sure President Trump was still on board, and he was despite concerns from certain GOP lawmakers about the significant increase in spending.
Finally, lawmakers released the bill that consists of over 2,000 pages and Ryan reminded Congressional leaders that, “No bill of this size is perfect.”
Ryan went on to point that the bill does address the most crucial problems, such as domestic and foreign policy issues. “But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad,” Ryan added.
As lawmakers move to a vote, many are concerned that they will not meet the Friday deadline and may move for another federal shutdown, or perhaps issue a stopgap so that federal workers are not affected by a partial shutdown.
But not everyone is pleased with the final version of the bill. In fact, conservatives are furious that the bill does not include enough funding for Trump to build his wall, and democrats are not thrilled that they left behind DACA recipients and Obamacare.
Nonetheless, sources report that lawmakers will make one last attempt to add stricter background checks and other items that will help keep schools safe to the bill before it heads to Trump’s desk.
But the dems can’t be too mad since their gun control issue was clearly addressed. In fact, the bill lifts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on researching the causes of gun violence, which would likely be more insightful than just passing legislation that they hope will prevent future shootings.
Surprisingly enough, the dems seem to be okay with leaving behind a solution for DACA recipients after they led us to a three-day government shutdown in January over the issue of immigration.
Perhaps after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Senate dems out for putting illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children before thousands of federal workers, the dems realized that they needed to get their priorities in order.
However, Trump said he was willing to work out protections for the 800,000 Dreamers, but pointed out earlier this month that the dems were nowhere to be found when it came to discussing a solution. Some California dems even canceled meetings with Trump to discuss immigration.
Even though the new bill does not provide enough money to fund Trump’s concrete border wall, it does supply him will enough money to build barriers and fencing to help address the problem of illegal immigration.
Should the bill pass, Trump will receive $1.6 billion for barriers along the Southern border of the United States. But lawmakers denied Trump’s request to hire new Border Patrol and immigration enforcement agents.
Nonetheless, all House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could say about the bill is that she was “disappointed” that it did not include protections for Dreamers.
“We are disappointed that we did not reach agreement on Dreamer protections that were worthy of these patriotic young people,” the California democrat insisted.
But she is not the only lawmaker who is disappointed. In fact, Sen. Susan Collins also tweeted that she was not pleased that new bill did not include an Obamacare fix like she had been promised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the end of last year in exchange for her vote on the tax reform bill.
“It is extremely disappointing that Speaker Ryan chose not to include our health insurance legislation in the government funding bill due to opposition from Leader Pelosi,” Collins tweeted.
Collins argued that Pelosi and the dems blocked funding for Obamacare in the new bill because they were concerned over abortion restrictions associated with the Hyde Amendment, which bans any federal funds from going to clinics that provide abortions.
But Trump tried and dems failed to reach across the aisle and compromise yet again.
So who really wins big with this new bill? Americans do. The new bill provides funding for infrastructure and other domestic programs that former President Obama failed to deliver on.
Last month, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said it best when he tweeted, “It’s a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni … wait, what?”
What’s more, bipartisan priorities were clearly addressed, as the bill provides $4.6 billion in total funding to fight the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic and $2 billion for school safety training and mental health treatment in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month.
The bill also includes funding for future election security as we approach the 2018 midterms. Alas, the bill doesn’t provide enough money for the border wall, and that may be the biggest loss of all.