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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

House signs off on bipartisan 2017 spending bill

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244), which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday by a 309-118 vote, will boost funding for the Department of Defense and Homeland Security.

   The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the federal government funded through September and avoid a shutdown on Friday.
   The bill passed with support from both parties by a 309-118 vote, with 178 Democrats and 131 Republicans voting in favor of the bill, and 15 Democrats and 103 Republicans voting against the bill, which is now being sent to the Senate for approval.
   The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244) represents a $25.7 billion increase in Department of Defense funding over FY 2016 levels, the White House said. While there’s no money for President Donald Trump’s proposed Mexico border wall, the bill does make available an additional $1.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. Total funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is $18.5 billion, a $1.4 billion increase over FY 2016.
   “Provisions are also included for key national priorities, such as national disaster relief, an extension of miners’ health benefits, increases in health research, and opioid addiction and prevention,” the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations said.
   “This legislation will fund critical federal government activities, including our national defense, and enact responsible funding decisions to target U.S. investments where they are needed the most,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., who sponsored the bill. “It also maintains and enhances policies that bolster economic growth and support the core values that our nation is built upon.”
   “This final deal stands in stark contrast to President’s Trump’s initial draconian budget request that called for gutting billions from lifesaving medical research, paying to construct a border wall, defunding planned parenthood, and undermining the Affordable Care Act,” said U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla.
   However, Frelinghuysen said the bill does cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by $81 million, and freezes the IRS’s funding at current levels.

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