House passes massive, long-debated spending bill

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill on Sunday evening, after 10 hours of contentious debate.

The legislation (H.R. 1) includes nearly $700 billion in military spending and nearly $300 billion in nondefense spending. It would increase the national debt by over $400 billion and delay major decisions on environmental protection and health care. The House passed the bill by a 347-77 vote.

The vote capped a 24-hour budget drama featuring one unhappy lawmaker after another who started to come to the floor at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Later Sunday, the Senate passed the bill 76-23.

“I can feel it,” Trump told reporters during a meeting on school safety with educators and lawmakers. “I can feel it. I understand it. It is a difficult vote for many people, but it is a good bill.”

But Trump, whose approval rating remains low at 36%, is likely to face increasing criticism from his base over the spending package. Republicans have warned they will do everything they can to protect his base in the midterm elections, and Trump’s policies — specifically those related to the environment and clean air — have been the target of constant attack by the party’s critics on the left.

“So long as we’ve been apart, we’ve been getting along very well, and some of the strongest relationships that the United States has ever had was between leaders at that table … It’s very sad, and I am really troubled by it,” Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a strong Trump ally, said before the vote.

But on Friday, when the White House announced the budget deal had been reached, Trump appeared more optimistic about the agreement than many of his allies on Capitol Hill, who were worried it would impose caps on discretionary spending that would hamper defense-heavy states in 2020.

“There are so many good things in the conference report to get our economy surging and lifting higher every day,” Trump said in a statement. “We can’t afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This legislation gives us our best shot at accomplishing tax cuts and reform, spending cuts, and military construction.”

Trump also shared his praise with a key player on the process: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Congrats to @SenateSchumer on big Democratic win,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Meantime, the tax cuts and plan to spend $1 trillion rebuilding our country are getting ready to get approved.”

At the end of the long night, some Republicans were pleased with the deal, but others expressed some skepticism. Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Pennsylvania Republican, tweeted that “no one should be celebrating this partisan bill right now.”

“With the debt limit vote coming tomorrow and no funding for infrastructure/health care this would keep my district in Fiscal Emergency for months,” Dent said.

After the House passed the spending bill, many House Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest and headed to the Democratic side of the Capitol building, where they began to chant and serenade Speaker Paul Ryan with a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Democratic leaders have been urging rank-and-file members to vote no on the spending bill, arguing that it fails to fulfill their party’s campaign promises to address issues like infrastructure spending and healthcare.

Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley from New York, who joined the protesters, said that he and others are trying to “let our members know why it’s not worth it to support this tax cut.”

And DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan thanked lawmakers who were against the bill for not being cowed by the Trump administration.

“Our members are in many cases sitting here tonight facing the very real prospect of a year-end government shutdown over Democrats asking for a debate on these critical priorities,” he said.

The deal fulfills a promise President Donald Trump made to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, his House Democratic leader, by providing $165 billion in domestic spending, according to a congressional aide. Another $90 billion would go to defense.

CNN’s Darlene Superville, Quint Forgey, Matt Smith, Kevin Liptak, Liz Sidoti, Phil Mattingly, Sarah Mercer, Amanda Watts, Michelle Kosinski, Alyana Alfaro, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Ted Barrett, Drew Griffin, Keith Boykin, Jessica Gresko, Sara Ganim, Kristina Sgueglia, Brian Stelter, Sara Murray, Amanda Watts, Kevin Liptak and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

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