As per the usual arrangement, on Sunday Republicans reached a deal with Democrats to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will avoid a government shutdown through September. Here’s what’s in the bill: funding for Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, the Iran deal, the National Endowment for the Arts, and sanctuary cities. Here’s what’s not in the bill: funding for President Trump’s planned border wall. Incredibly, the new omnibus even includes a measure to increase the influx of temporary workers under H-2B visas through September.
But at least Republicans raised military spending, right?
That’s the take from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), who has a bad habit of pulling such deals off with Democratic help. In 2013, Ryan cut a deal with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to raise sequestration caps, cut cost-of-living adjustments for veterans, increase taxes, and do so in exchange for empty promises of future cuts.
On this bill, Ryan bragged, “We have boosted resources for our defense needs without corresponding increases in non-defense spending.”
Of course, Republicans run both houses of Congress this time, and President Trump is in the White House, but no matter – the Dreaded Government Shutdown™ has been avoided for the time being. Even the defense increases, by the way, are about half of what Trump wanted.
Republicans caved again. They were elected to overturn Obamacare. They haven’t, and they won’t – even the supposed planned vote this week on Obamacare repeal doesn’t repeal Obamacare. They were elected to build Trump’s border wall. They haven’t, and there are no immediate plans to do so. They were elected to defund Planned Parenthood. They haven’t. As Bloomberg points out:
Overall, the compromise resembles more of an Obama administration-era budget than a Trump one. The National Institutes of Health, for example, would see a $2 billion boost, reflecting the popularity of medical research among lawmakers. The deal includes $990 million for famine aid, along with a $1.1 billion boost for disaster recovery funds…More than 70 anti-environmental policy riders in the bill were defeated…
No wonder Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “This agreement is a good agreement for the American people, and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table.”
Trump is now preparing to push forward the new healthcare plan, which does not repeal Obamacare; his aides say that he’s going to push for a massive infrastructure spending plan sometime in the next two or three weeks.
Barack Obama would be proud of the Republicans.