Politics

Lawmakers Make Power Play Against Trump Admin On Omnibus

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Congress expanded funding given to federal agencies President Donald Trump promised to gut by billions of dollars in the newly drafted bi-partisan legislation intended to keep the government from shutting down.

The House Appropriations Committee released the 2017 fiscal Omnibus Appropriations bill Monday, a piece of legislation that keeps the government solvent through Sept. 30, 2017. What is clear from Monday’s legislation is lawmakers did not strictly adhere to Trump’s policy preferences for the budget, and increased funding for federal agencies Trump sought to cut.

Trump pledged in his budgetary proposal for the 2018 fiscal year, called Blueprint To Make America Great Again, to cut funding for a number of federal agencies, including the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities (NEA). Trump’s proposal would have slashed $1.2 billion from the NIH’s budget and totally eliminated funding the NEA.

The omnibus bill provides the NIH with an additional $2 billion in funds over what it received in 2016, granting the agency a total of $34 billion. The bill provides specific increases for “research related to Alzheimer’s disease, the brain, antibiotic resistance, and the Precision Medicine Initiative.”

The NEA gets a total of $300 million, working out to $150 million for each of the endowments. The total amounts to a $2 million increase in funding from 2016.

House lawmakers are expected to vote on the omnibus as early as Wednesday, with their colleagues in the Senate expected to review the bill later in the week. The House Rules Committee is will consider the legislation Tuesday at 3 p.m., RollCall reports.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is hinting that some conservative lawmakers will take up arms against the package, as it contains many features Republicans cannot support.

“I’m disappointed. We’ll see how it plays out this week, but I think you’re going to see conservatives have some real concerns with this legislation,” Jordan said Monday.

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