On Thursday, The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill, averting a government shutdown. According to CNN, the omnibus bill was a:
‘massive, all-encompassing piece of legislation, from restrictions for DOD personnel from using government travel charge cards for strippers to restrictions on how much agency heads can spend on office redecoration — and whole heck of a lot in between.’
House Speaker, Paul Ryan, spoke at a press conference on Thursday, saying:
‘This bill starts construction on the wall. It turns the Gateway decision over to the Trump administration. It funds our war on opioids. It invests in infrastructure. It funds school safety and mental health. But what this bill is ultimately about—what we fought for for so long—is finally giving our military the tools and the resources it needs to do the job.’
However, 25 House Republicans actually bucked leadership and opposed the bill. According to The Hill:
‘But outraged by the speedy vote on the more than 2,000-page funding bill — the text of which wasn’t released until Thursday night — members of the House Freedom Caucus defied their leadership.’
According to POLITICO:
‘The final House vote was 256-167. A majority of members in both parties ended up backing the 2,200 page bill, despite objections that lawmakers had not had a chance to review the final measure, which was only publicly posted after 8 p.m. on Wednesday.’
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus explained that their group had never actually taken an official position against the bill. Had they done that, they feel that more Republicans would have voted with them, putting an end to the spending bill.
Rep. Meadows said:
‘We purposely did not take a position in the Freedom Caucus on the rule. I think the number 25 is significant in that any majority in the House needs to make sure that they control the last 25 votes. And so I think that number is more of a statement than it is really anything else.’
Conservatives were concerned about the omnibus bill in general due to the fact that they feel it failed to truly deliver on the party’s promises to voters. The Hill reported:
‘Several conservatives attempted to introduce amendments in the House Rules Committee to negate some of the omnibus provisions they didn’t agree with Wednesday, which were ultimately ruled out of order in committee.’
Some of the provisions included funding for “sanctuary cities” and Planned Parenthood, and language strengthening background checks for those wishing to purchase firearms.
‘This is wrong. This is not the limited-government conservatism our voters demand. Our constituents — our employers — deserve better. Members of the Freedom Caucus chose to vote no, because this omnibus doesn’t just forget the promises we made to voters — it flatly rejects them.’
The long list of Republicans, mostly from the Freedom Caucus, voting against the bill includes Rep. Justin Amash (MI), Andy Biggs (AZ), Rod Blum (IA), Mo Brooks (AL), Warren Davidson (OH), John Duncan Jr. (TN), Tom Garrett (VA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Morgan Griffith (VA), Andy Harris (MD), Jody Hice (GA), Jim Jordan (OH), Raul Labrador (ID), Thomas Massie (KY), Alex Mooney (W.VA.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Scott Perry (PA), Bill Posey (FL), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Randy Weber (TX), Daniel Webster (FL), and Ted Yoho (FL).
Featured image is a screenshot from CBS News