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US House approves USD 1.3 trillion spending bill

News Agencies | Updated on: 23 March 2018, 9:33 IST

The United States House passed a USD 1.3 trillion spending package on Thursday, sending a legislation to the Senate that would prevent a government shutdown and deliver the largest federal spending increase in years.

According to The Hill, lawmakers voted 256-167 in favour of the bill. 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats voted against the bill. A large number of conservative Republicans were among those who voted against the bill over the "measure's massive price tag and the lack of transparency in the bill-writing process".

The Senate is expected to begin work on the bill immediately on Friday midnight for preventing a shutdown.

The spending package includes - a USD 695 billion in defence funding and USD 591 billion in non-defence funding, including a combined USD 78 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations spending that does not count toward legal budget caps.

Last month, the Congress agreed to increase the 2018 spending caps by around USD 80 billion for defence and USD 63 billion for non-defence and set similar increases for 2019.

"Alongside the USD 1.5 trillion tax cuts approved last year, the spending path is poised to push deficits past a trillion by next year", according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The spending package also includes a USD 1.6 billion for border security, including hundreds of millions of dollars for new fence construction favoured by US President Donald Trump.

Other major provisions include a USD 4 billion to fight the nation's opioid epidemic crisis, a temporary extension to funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and a language designed to fix a glitch in the Republican new tax law that critics said threatened small farmers across the country.


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First published: 23 March 2018, 9:33 IST