House Republicans broke ranks with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and party leadership and voted against the $1.2 trillion spending bill to keep the government open through September. That bill passed due to almost unanimous support among Democrats. In a 309-118 vote, the measure passed despite the opposition of 103 Republicans. The GOP caucus was nearly split in half by the vote. The measure passed with votes from 132 GOP lawmakers and 178 from Democrats.
 
The spending bill did not include funding for the border wall that has long been promised by President Donald Trump but did fund Democrat’s priorities, including Planned Parenthood and block grants to cities. Some Republican said ruefully that it appears that Democrats rule Congress.
 
Ryan claimed today that "many" Republican wishes were confirmed by the bill.  "Each side doesn't get everything it wants, but we are able to come together on a package that supports many of our important goals," he said. The budget bill consists of almost 12 distinct spending bills that Congress could not confirm in 2016. It provides an extra $15 billion for defense spending, and an additional $1.5 billion for border security. "Today we take a critical step in fixing the potholes in our military readiness" said Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), who chairs the Defense Appropriations subcommittee. Funding was also directed at the opioid epidemic. "This bill will save lives," said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) of the House Appropriations Committee.
 
Speaker Ryan said that Republicans got more defense spending without an increase of the same amount on the domestic side, as had been case during the Obama administration. Overall defense spending was will be $25 billion in the fiscal 2017 spending bill. "I think that is one of the most important game-changing accomplishments that are in here," Ryan said. "That dollar-for-dollar parity rule is a rule no more."
 
 

Status Quo Protection Act

 
 
Fiscal conservatives are displeased by the budget. According to the Washington Post,  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) who co-founded the House Freedom Caucus, said, “I think you will see a lot of conservatives vote against this plan this week.” One common affliction among Freedom Caucus members is that they are mathematically illiterate. Specifically, they cannot count votes. I think President Donald Trump avoided Washington's game of budget brinkmanship pretty well. And this week’s vote should show just that.”
 
Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) said of the spending bill in a column at Breitbart: Looking at all the smiling faces on the other side of the aisle, I have to ask: are Democrats still the minority party? "You would be tempted to think the $1 trillion government funding deal is like Christmas morning for them, as Republicans have handed them free media to brag about how much of the President’s agenda they have stopped. 
 
"You’ll see it in the news as an “Omnibus spending bill,” when it should really be called “the Status Quo Protection Act.” President Hillary Clinton would have been proud of this bill.
 
"It tosses out campaign promises as it continues to fund the military industrial complex and the welfare state. It not only rejects President Trump’s calls for cuts to multiple agencies, but it increases their funding by millions of dollars. It paves the way for those agencies to engage in more “use it or lose it” September spending. It leaves our deficit at well over $500 billion."
 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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