Speed Reads


House easily approves $1.4 trillion 2020 spending package

It is an atypically busy week in Washington, D.C. A day before the House will vote to impeach President Trump, the Senate cleared a Pentagon policy bill that will create Trump's Space Force and give federal workers paid parental leave; the House Ways and Means Committee overwhelmingly passed the upgraded NAFTA deal, USMCA, setting up full House approval on Thursday; and the House approved a $1.4 trillion package that funds the federal government through Oct. 1, 2020. The Senate needs to pass and Trump sign the legislation before midnight Friday to prevent a government shutdown.

The spending package is split among two bills, one focusing on the military and national security, the other on domestic spending. The national security package passed 280 to 138 while the domestic agencies were funded on a vote of 297 to 120.

Along with wrapping up all 12 federal appropriations bills, the package included a grab-bag of policy changes, including raising the tobacco-purchase age to 21, funding gun safety research, bailing out a pension fund for retired coal miners, and scrapping three ObamaCare taxes. "The list goes on and on," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging support for the legislation. The package includes $50 billion in new spending but could grow the federal deficit by more than $500 billion over the next decade.