U.S. HOUSE PASSES BILL: That Will Tick You Off and Make You Happy at the Same Time

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 9.24.41 AMGiving the government a trillion dollar budget should never make any American happy, but there is a nice surprise in the second half of this bill.

The House on Friday overwhelmingly approved a $1.1 trillion spending package that includes the first major change approved by Congress to ObamaCare, and keeps the government open through September 2016.

Lawmakers backed the package following a furious effort by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and their leadership teams to corral votes in both parties.

In the end, there was no drama in the 316-113 vote.

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Ryan won 150 GOP votes, a majority of his conference that represents a big victory for the new speaker. Ninety-five Republicans voted against the measure.

Only 18 Democrats voted against the spending bill, while 166 supported it.

The Senate is expected to pass the package later today, likely after pairing it with a massive tax package approved by the House on Thursday. The White House has said President Obama will sign both measures.

Ahead of the vote, conservatives were expressing disappointment with the package, which was largely put in place by former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who agreed to the top-line number in a deal with Democrats and the White House before ending his Speakership.

Only 79 House Republicans voted for that budget in October, which severely limited the GOP’s leverage in the omnibus negotiations.

Republicans also weren’t able to secure tighter restrictions on Syrian refugees entering the country, or language to block funds for Planned Parenthood. Amendments offered by conservatives in a House Rules Committee hearing this week were rejected.

To win over GOP votes, Ryan added language to the bill lifting the decades-old ban on U.S. oil exports.

And many Republicans appeared to want to use the vote to register their confidence for Ryan, who has enjoyed a pronounced honeymoon as Speaker.

The vote was closed shortly after the 150th Republican “yes” vote was cast.

That did not seem coincidental given a letter sent to the GOP whip team after the Thanksgiving holiday by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-S.C.).

The whip set a marker of 150 GOP votes for the spending bill in the letter, which criticized Republican lawmakers who vote against a bill but secretly hope it passes.

“The vote that hurts our Conference is the no vote from a Member who hopes the bill passes, but relies on others to carry that load,” Scalise wrote. “That vote isn’t fair to the Members who shoulder the responsibility of voting yes, and it isn’t fair to the Republican Conference as a whole.

Read more: The Hill


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