The US House of Representatives passes massive $1.7 trillion spending bill

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Paul Ryan
  • The House passed a massive, $US1.3 trillion ($AU1.69 trillion) spending package on Thursday.
  • The bill would avert a government shutdown.
  • It now heads to the Senate, where it could pass later Thursday or Friday.
  • President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill.

The House of Representatives passed a massive $US1.3 trillion ($AU1.69 trillion) spending package on Thursday that averts a federal government shutdown and funds key government programs.

The vote passed 256-167. It now heads to the Senate, where it could pass later Thursday or sometime Friday. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, though he has privately grumbled about some of its omissions, echoing a number of conservative complaints about the bill.

The bill was the result of compromise among the “big four” congressional leaders and includes a number of key priorities for both Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that the bill was the result of each party’s leaders being willing to accept trade offs.

“If each of us stood on our hind legs and said, ‘if I only get everything I want, I’m voting no,’ we’d be totally paralysed and that happens far too often in this body,” Schumer said. “But somehow on this appropriations bill, this omnibus, that didn’t happen. There is remarkable spirit of give and take in the room.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also applauded the bill he helped craft, particularly the increase in military funding during a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.

“First and foremost, in my view, this bill will mark the end of disproportionate and harmful cuts to Department of Defence funding,” McConnell said. “It delivers the largest year-on-year increase in defence spending in fifteen years.”

In addition to military funding the bill would provide new funds for infrastrucutre, border security, a fix to the new Republican tax law, adjustments to gun laws, and more

The full plan was only unveiled late Wednesday evening. The bill runs more than 2,200 pages.

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