House passes $1.7 trillion ‘omnibus’ spending bill with some GOP support

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the $1.7 trillion spending bill, CBS News reports

The House did so on Friday by a vote of 225 to 201 to 1.

A total of nine House Republicans joined the Democrats in pushing the bill through. These House Republicans include:

Reps. John Katko (NY), Chris Jacobs (NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Fred Upton (MI), Rodney Davis (IL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Steve Womack (AR), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and Liz Cheney (WY).

It is worth noting that many of these Republicans are on their way out of Congress after having chosen to retire or after losing their reelection campaigns.

Background

The bill passed through the House the day after it passed through the U.S. Senate.

In the Senate, the final tally was 68 to 29, with 18 Republicans voting in favor of it. This includes:

Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Robert Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Todd Young (R-IN).

These Republicans voted in favor of the legislation despite the protestations of House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The Republicans argued that the bill spends money America doesn’t have on things America ought not to be spending money on.

McCarthy and his fellow House Republicans vowed to oppose the bill should it reach the House, and they did.

But, as the final voting tally shows, House Republicans just didn’t have the numbers to prevent the bill’s passage.

It’s official

With the bill having been passed through the Senate and the House, all that was left to do was to sign it into law. And, that is what President Joe Biden did on Friday.

“This bill is further proof that Republicans and Democrats can come together to deliver for the American people, and I’m looking forward to continued bipartisan progress in the year ahead,” Biden said at the signing.

It is a bit of a stretch to call the bill “bipartisan,” but even more of a stretch was Biden’s claim that “this bill is good for our economy, our competitiveness, and our communities.”

Critics say just the opposite – that the bill is packed with unnecessary spending that is likely to backfire on the American people.

The purpose of the bill, after all, was to avert a government shutdown. But, at over 4,000 pages and $1.7 trillion, it obviously does far more than that.