In the late hours of December 9th, a 1,603 page bill that detailed government spending and funding through next September was unveiled in Congress. As government funding was set to expire on December 11th, a continuing resolution was swiftly passed that bought them two more days. The House passed the spending bill on December 12th, giving the Senate just one day to pass the very large and very important legislation. As the time was expiring on the evening of December 13th, the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 56-40, and headed to the Oval Office for final approval.
The passing of the bill assures funding for nearly all government agencies, at spending levels negotiated by both parties in both houses. The legislation includes a number of provisions that reflect the priorities of both Democrats and Republicans, from the environment to the American banking system to pensions.
One area of government that did not get its funding approved in the bill was the Department of Homeland Security, which is set to run out of money on February 27, 2015. The omission of the department’s funding was a strategic move on the part of Republicans, who intend to use the Department of Homeland Security’s budget to challenge the president’s immigration policy.
No matter what side of the political aisle your views fall on, the passing of the budget needed to happen. The avoidance of another government shutdown is imperative to the country’s stability and morale. Lawmakers from both parties have made statements that they are both happy with some inclusions of the bill, and unhappy with others. That is called compromise, and it needed to happen in order to get this bill approved.
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Military Connection: Congress Passes Spending Bill: By Debbie Gregory