WASHINGTON – The House passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill Thursday that funds the federal government through Sept. 30. Now the Senate faces a Friday deadline to pass the bill to avoid a government shutdown, which would be the third such shutdown this year. The spending package includes funding for a number of big projects, including $4 billion to address the country’s opioid crisis, $1.57 billion for border security, including barriers and technology and $2.3 billion for school safety. Lawmakers are weighing in on Twitter on the provisions they wanted to see tacked onto the spending package and the bill overall.
President Donald Trump:
Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
The deal provides $1.57 billion for “physical barriers and technology.” But, PBS reports that Democratic sources say $641 million of that could go to barriers, which would be restricted to see-through fences and levees, but not for Trump’s proposed wall. The majority of the funding — $1.3 billion — of the border security money is for technology.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY:
Every bill takes compromise & there was plenty here, but at the end of the day Dems feel very good; so many of our priorities for the middle class are included. From opioid funding to rural broadband, from student loans to child care, this bill puts workers & families first.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 22, 2018
The omnibus bill includes about $350 million in funding to address eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. It’s part of new funding for college affordability and education programs in the package.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL:
Great news! The #StopSchoolViolenceAct will be included in the upcoming #omnibus spending bill. Lets get it across the finish line tomorrow!
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 21, 2018
In addition to #STOPSchoolViolenceAct in the Omnibus we were able to get $75M for the Comprehensive School Safety Initative,a $47m increase for school safety grant programs & $700m increase in grants to school districts for school counselors & school-based mental health
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 22, 2018
The bill was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, and funds a program to train students, teachers, and other school staff to identify and respond to threats against schools. It would authorize $50 million in grants to assist schools in increasing security and learning how to better identify potential threats.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-FL:
Major Breakthrough: It appears #Omnibus will make it clear CDC can research gun violence – something I’m proud to have led the fight on & worked w/House leaders to get done. It’s a victory for our country & children. Our work to stop gun violence will continue. #DickeyAmendment
— Rep Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) March 21, 2018
For years the Dickey Amendment was interpreted by the CDC as a ban on studying gun violence. The new spending package makes it clear that the amendment doesn’t prevent them from doing this work, allowing the CDC to resume research on gun violence and its causes.
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI:
Breaking News→ The House just voted to rebuild our military, secure our borders, and give our service members their largest pay raise in 8 years. pic.twitter.com/ck7hqYT21O
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 22, 2018
The omnibus bill includes more money for veteran hospitals and veterans’ homes as well as a pay raise for troops in service.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA:
Apparently @realDonaldTrump thinks investing in fighting opioid epidemic, serving veterans, & providing child care to working families is “wasting money.” He’s flat wrong.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) March 22, 2018
The spending package includes an increase in Childcare Development Block Grants, which is federal funding for child care subsidies for low-income working families.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, R-KY:
This spending bill scales up research, treatment and prevention funding and provides grants to first responders to help confront the scourge of the #OpioidEpidemic head-on and help save lives. For rural communities, like many in #Kentucky, this is a big deal.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) March 22, 2018
It’s time to rebuild America’s crumbling #infrastructure, and the spending bill will help accomplish just that. It will fund long-overdue improvements to roads, rails, airports and inland waterways, creating #jobs and growing our #economy along the way.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) March 22, 2018
There is $21 billion for infrastructure projects all around the country included in the omnibus bill. That can be used for the Gateway project, which aims to improve railway infrastructure between New York and New Jersey.