WASHINGTON >> The GOP-controlled House has given tentative approval to a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The controversial wall money is being given a ride on legislation to give the Pentagon a massive spending boost and increase funding for veterans medical care.
The House added Trump’s wall funding by a 230-196 procedural vote that denied angry Democrats an up-or-down vote. The wall gets low marks in public opinion polls and is opposed by many of the GOP’s more moderate lawmakers.
U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik and John Faso, both Republicans, voted for both the wall funding and the overall bill.
In advancing the broader $788 billion spending bill, slated for a vote on Thursday, Republicans are trying to both ease a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and give both themselves and Trump political wins heading into the August recess.
“As promised to the American people, we are rebuilding and modernizing our military as an international powerhouse,” said Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky.
At issue are the spending bills passed by Congress each year to fund the day-to-day operations of federal agencies. Trump is pushing for a sweeping increase for the Pentagon and commensurate cuts of more than $50 billion, or 10 percent, from domestic agencies and foreign aid. House Republicans are responding by adding even more for defense but have significantly scaled back Trump’s cuts to domestic programs like community development grants and medical research.
GOP leaders had hoped to…
click here to read more.