The new Congressional spending bill, which passed into law Wednesday, is considered no-win for Republicans. That is, at least according to Senator Lindsey Graham, was said they “got their clock cleaned.”
The $1 trillion bill, passed Wednesday with votes of 309 to 118. Yes, it will accomplish its original goal of avoiding the threatened government shutdown. But according to Republicans like Senator Graham, that’s about all it will do.
“There are things in this bill that I just don’t understand. This was not winning from the Republican point of view,” Graham said. “The bottom line is, no, I don’t want to shut the government down, but I don’t want to continue to fund Obamacare either, and that’s what we do here.”
The budget, which was only hastily scrawled up over the weekend, was not friendly to the Republican Party. It shot down almost all the GOP and President’s major objectives. Here’s a run-down on what the bill includes:
The new legislation will have a $15 billion increase for the military. This means funding for the Department of Defense will be at $598.5 billion. It also has $1.5 billion for border security, but the bill includes no funding for the border wall. This was a major compromise, as the wall funding was a bait for government shutdown.
The money set aside for border security will be for new technology and repairs of the current southwest border. The bill includes no mention of monies for new immigration detention centers or for hiring new deportation officers. However, both Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs Border Protection will see more money.
“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table,” said Minority Leader Chuck Schemer. “The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure.”
A total of $93.5 billion will go to Overseas Contingency/Global War on Terror funding. This will provide training for American troops fighting against ISIS and other terrorist groups.
But in another disappointment for the Republican party, the new budget doesn’t defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Abortion has been a huge issue this term with the Republicans and the new bill addresses none of those concerns. It also continues to fund the Republican Party’s archenemy: ObamaCare. That, in itself is enough to call it a loss. The Repeal and Replace objective was a disaster all the way around. The bill does not take money away from sanctuary cities. This is a further loss to the Trump administration, as those have all been key talking points in his first 100 days.
In the area of health care, Puerto Rico would receive $295 million for its Medicaid funding. Puerto Rico currently has a Medicaid but the funding is severely low due to the impoverished areas of the region.
The spending budget also includes $68 million for presidential security when Trump travels to both his home in New York and his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Security for the First Lady as she remains in New York has been a contention for the state’s taxpayers and now the federal budget relieves them. It also provides security detail for Trump’s adult children.
But, it wasn’t all party politics. Democrats took some hits themselves. The Green Climate Fund was a reserve helping underdeveloped nations cope with climate change and it was defunded. The Environmental Protection Agency lost $81.4 million dollars as well. This wasn’t exactly the budget cut Trump wanted. He originally wanted to cut $9 billion from their budget but lost in a compromise.
However, budget director Mick Mulvaney said that Republicans didn’t lose out in this deal at all. “Everything we got in this deal … lines up perfectly with the president’s priorities,” he said.
Granted, Trump overall said he was “very happy,” with the budget. But that was most likely to mean, it was as close to a decent compromise as he was going to get. He told CBS’ Face the Nation last week, “In many cases you’re forced to make deals that are not the deal you’d make. You’d make a much different kind of deal.”
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told Reuters that when budget discussions begin for the 2018 fiscal year on September 1, “the president’s priorities will be reflected much more.”
Of course, some of these were items that the Republican Party was putting on hold until September anyway to get a better funding package. The proposed new budget for 2018 is expected to be released next week. This one was supposed to be done seven months ago. Then we will have a whole new debate on the same issues. This time, maybe Republicans will gain some leverage somewhere.