Republicans on Capitol Hill reached a deal late Sunday night to avoid a second threat of a government shutdown in just two weeks and to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year in September. But while congressional Republicans may have finally averted a crisis, it is Democrats, a minority in both chambers, who are celebrating as conservatives cry that their principles and priorities have been betrayed by their own representatives.
House and Senate appropriators unveiled the text of the more than $1 trillion spending package early on Monday morning. Despite threats of drastic cuts to vital and varied domestic programs outlined in President Donald Trump's proposed "skinny budget" for fiscal 2018, the more than 1,600-page bill concerning funding through the end of September provides increased spending for the National Institute of Health, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, Pell Grants to assist with college tuition, and the federal judiciary — which Trump has attacked on numerous occasions. Additionally, Republicans in the House agreed to continue fully funding Planned Parenthood and saved nearly 99 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency's current level of funding.
Republicans' plan does not provide funding for Trump's proposed border wall construction and only about half the amount sought by Trump for a military buildup.
Democrats celebrated the deal with the Republican-controlled Congress.
“We have eliminated more than 160 Republican poison pill riders, ranging from undermining a woman’s right to reproductive health to dismantling Dodd-Frank’s vital Wall Street consumer protections,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The omnibus does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.”
“This agreement is a good agreement for the American people and takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "The bill ensures taxpayer dollars aren’t used to fund an ineffective border wall, excludes poison-pill riders, and increases investments in programs that the middle-class relies on, like medical research, education and infrastructure."
But conservatives were quick to cry foul.
"Betrayal beyond belief," David Horowitz wrote for the Conservative Review. "The 1,665-page, $1.16 trillion omnibus is everything we would have gotten had Democrats been in charge," he complained, adding that Democrats "got Republicans to jettison all of Trump’s priorities."
"Unbelievable. Just unbelievable," South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan wrote on Facebook on Monday. "When Republicans (moderates) hide from the shadow of a government shutdown and fail to stand firm, when we have House, Senate and the White House, to defund the murder and dismemberment of babies in the womb, fund border security and defund cities which are in direct violation of Federal Immigration laws, well we get crap like this latest CR - government funding 'Deal.'"
The vice chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus Rep., Jim Jordan, told CNN on Monday that because "money continues to go to sanctuary cities but no money for the border wall. I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives be against this plan this week.”
— New Day (@NewDay) May 1, 2017