Democrats take aim at Trump policies by passing $1T spending package

Democrats on Wednesday muscled through a nearly $1 trillion spending bill that attempts to block President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it ‘strange’ to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it ‘strange’ to see him at Trump rally MORE‘s policies on climate change, abortion and immigration, underscoring Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slated to deliver remarks during panel hearing on poverty The DNC’s climate problems run deep Cracks form in Democratic dam against impeachment MORE‘s (D-Calif.) argument that the House can work as a check on the administration.

Lawmakers passed the spending package in a 226-203 vote that fell largely along party lines. Seven Democrats voted against the measure, as did all Republicans.

The legislation includes the two largest government spending bills — one for Defense and one covering Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. It also covers funding bills for foreign operations and energy and water.
The measure takes aim at a slew of Trump’s funding goals, starting with a rejection of his budget request, which proposed deep cuts to the State Department, cuts to the National Institutes of Health, the elimination of advanced energy research and a massive increase in defense spending.

“This bill rejects the administration’s unacceptable budget request and irresponsible policies and, rather, strives to uphold many bipartisan congressional priorities,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyCongressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending Congressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending House panel wraps up final 2020 spending bill as Senate lags MORE (D-N.Y.) ahead of the floor vote.

The Democratic bill would eliminate what’s known as the Mexico City policy, which blocks the U.S. from funding foreign groups that promote abortion, and it would prevent withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate accord. Another provision would fund research into the causes of gun violence.

The measure also includes language that would block funds from being used to ban transgender people from serving in the military and prevent the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

The seven Democrats who voted against the measure were Reps. Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (Wash.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDem senator: American Jews ‘disgusted’ by treatment of migrants at border Dem senator: American Jews ‘disgusted’ by treatment of migrants at border Auschwitz Memorial responds to MSNBC host Chris Hayes over comments on concentration camps MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez under fire for concentration camp remarks Ocasio-Cortez under fire for concentration camp remarks Omar blasts Trump’s comment about accepting foreign campaign dirt as ‘un-American’ MORE (Minn.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonHouse passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban House passes amendment to block funding for transgender troops ban Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley celebrates daughter’s 5th grade graduation Ayanna Pressley celebrates daughter’s 5th grade graduation Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control access face major obstacles MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez under fire for concentration camp remarks Ocasio-Cortez under fire for concentration camp remarks Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers’ use of location data MORE (Mich.).

Republicans slammed the spending package, saying it includes provisions that will invite a veto from Trump.

“This package has become a partisan vehicle, under-funding defense priorities, over-funding non-defense programs, carrying poison pills, and delaying action to address the crisis at our southern border,” said Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerCongressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending Congressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending Democrats set stage for next shutdown fight with wall-free spending bill MORE (Texas), the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee.

While the legislation is unlikely to become law in its current form, it nonetheless gives Pelosi more leverage in spending talks with Senate Republicans, who have not passed any government funding bills for fiscal 2020.

Many of the provisions in the House bill are unlikely to make it through the Senate, which has lagged in producing its own spending measures. Senators say they are waiting until the House, Senate and White House agree on overall spending caps.

Pelosi hosted a meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss raising the statutory caps, which could pave the way for the Senate to start passing its own appropriations bills. But no agreement was reached between congressional leaders and senior administration officials.

Without a deal, Congress and the White House may face a heavy fiscal lift in the fall. The deadline for raising the debt ceiling is expected to hit around that time, and missing it would lead to a U.S. debt default that would shock global financial markets.

Even if a deal is reached, the Senate will be well behind the House, which began consideration of a second, five-bill package covering $383 billion in spending on Wednesday afternoon. Democrats expect to complete passage of all 12 annual spending bills by the end of the month.

Wednesday’s House-passed measure gives Pelosi an opportunity to argue that congressional Democrats are standing up to Trump at a time when dozens of caucus members are calling for initiating an impeachment inquiry against the president.

When asked about impeachment, Pelosi frequently pivots to talk about legislative accomplishments.

“I want to get back to our legislation, because that is what the American people elected us to do,” she said last week when the topic of impeachment came up.

Chris Mills Rodrigo contributed.

Updated at 5:37 p.m.

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