Last year’s government shutdown was avoided from happening again this week after the House passed a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill on Thursday.
The bill passed 219 to 206, with over 60 Republicans breaking rank to vote against it. The house also passed an additional measure that gives the senate two extra days to approve the bill before the government runs out of funding. The bill will allow taxpayer-insured banks to follow some of the same actions taken during the 2008 financial crisis, a move that many house leaders are worried about.
Pelosi marshaled her caucus against the bill even after the White House urged support. The administration said the bill “provides certainty,” even though it did not like the Wall Street gift.
But Pelosi savaged it is a scathing floor speech. “This is ransom, this is blackmail,” Pelosi said. “We don’t get a bill unless Wall Street gets its taxpayer-funded coverage.”
The controversial provision lets taxpayer-insured banks conduct the sort of derivatives trading that Dodd-Frank barred them from engaging in after the 2008 financial meltdown. Compliance has repeatedly been delayed, however, and was not set to kick in until next summer. The other provision that sparked Democrats’ ire was a change to campaign finance rules that lets wealthy donors dramatically boost contributions to party committees.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest argued that the bill does more good than bad, and that it represented compromise for the GOP, which initially wanted to gut the Affordable Care Act and Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
“This is the kind of compromise that the president’s been seeking from Republicans for years now,” Earnest said in an appearance on MSNBC.
Democrats called the bill “reckless” and claim some of the provisions shouldn’t be supported. Only 57 Democrats voted in favor of it.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was perhaps the most influential member to side with the White House in a rare break from Pelosi.
“I think that my colleagues were correct in that the provisions that were included … should not have been supported,” Hoyer told reporters, adding that “in a world of alternatives” passing the omnibus was necessary.
Here are some takeaways from the bill via NBC News:
- Funding until September 2015 for 11 of 12 federal agencies. The Department of Homeland Security is only funded until early next year, setting up another spending fight over immigration in just a few weeks
- No new funding for the Affordable Care Act, but funding for the health care law is also not cut
- $5.4 million to fight Ebola abroad and prepare for potential outbreaks at home
- Changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking reform bill concerning derivatives trading – lobbied for heavily by the banking industry
- Language prohibiting the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana, which city residents greenlighted in a November ballot initiative by a wide margin
- Language raising donation limits to the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee from $32,400 per donor to $324,000
- About $8 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, a substantial cut from last year’s funding that will likely force a hefty reduction in staffing
- $5 billion to fight the Islamic militant group known as ISIS
- A ban on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States
- Funding to aid the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Service and local school districts in immigration-related programs
- A cut of almost $350 million to the budget of the IRS
- Cuts to multi-employer pension plans
- Language allowing school districts more flexibility in instituting the nutrition standards championed by Michelle Obama
The Senate plans to meet this weekend to go over the bill.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.