Republicans Produce a $1.3-Trillion Spending Bill That Funds Democrat Priorities

Susan Jones | March 22, 2018 | 6:04am EDT
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Fox News's Laura Ingraham displays some, not all, of the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill rolled out by big government Republicans Wednesday night. (Photo: Screen grab/Fox News)

( - Republicans rolled out a two-thousand-page-plus omnibus spending bill Wednesday night, which they expect to pass by Friday's deadline, giving no one any real chance to read it.

And while there is much in it for Democrats to like, there is much for conservatives to oppose, as Republicans ignore campaign promises to limit spending and grow government instead.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, appeared on Fox News around 10 o'clock last night, telling host Laura Ingraham that he's read only about 200 pages of the 2,232-page bill, and "this is not about draining the swamp," he said.


"I mean, we continue to fund sanctuary cities. We continue to fund Planned Parenthood. We don't build the wall, but yet we put money in for a tunnel. The last time I checked, when the president was campaigning, he wasn't campaigning for a tunnel between New Jersey and New York. It was campaigning about a border wall on our southern border, and so, you know, there's a lot to be disappointed. We're still going through this. But I'm not very optimistic there will be conservative wins in this."

The New York-New Jersey tunnel is the pet project of New York-area Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told "Fox & Friends" it's up to the Trump administration to decide whether New York gets the money for the tunnel. But an aide to Chuck Schumer told The Associated Press the tunnel is likely to get  more than half of the the $900-million sought for the project this year.

Appearing with Meadows, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, was smiling. He said the bill funds "a lot of shared priorities," including military and domestic programs. He pointed to funding for the opioid crisis, the National Institutes of Health, and veterans.

"I'm hopeful that we can come to a compromise by tomorrow," Krishnamoorthi said.

Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) discuss the .3 Trillion Republican spending bill with Fox News's Laura Ingraham. (Photo: Screen grab)

Meadows said the fact that Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, was smiling is a problem:

"Here's one of the interesting things. Yes, we'll end up with a trillion dollar deficit that probably will come out in October of this year, trillion-dollars-plus. But here's the other interesting thing. You don't have to read the fine print to understand that we're going to grow the size of government by 12 to 13 percent. So When you're looking at that kind of growth, I don't know that his (Krishnamoorthi's) district or my district, anybody back home saw a 13 percent increase in their wages but yet we're somehow going to give government a raise like that?" Meadows asked.

"Here's the other problem, Laura, is this. We have a Republican-controlled House. We have a Republican-controlled Senate. And we have a Republican in the White House. And we have a Democrat here tonight saying how great this bill is. There is a problem there when you have that."

"This is a good deal for Democrats," Ingraham agreed.

Krishnamoorthi said if the bill rebuilds military programs, he's happy.

"Maybe we should think about that next time we commit our troops to some godforsaken country," Ingraham interjected. "Maybe we should think about what it's going to cost before we commit our troops again to another multiple deployment intervention."

Meadows said, "If we wanted to fund the military, why didn't we just put forth the funds to fund the military and deal with the nondefense discretionary (spending) separate. But somehow we put them together so that we grow the size of government. That's the problem."

Ingraham noted that Republicans have broken their promise to give the American people and lawmakers three days to read the bill. "I would say 98 percent of them, and I'm being charitable, will not have read this," she said. "And we're going to have to pass it to see what's in it. We're back in that stage."  Ingraham said Congress should return to regular order.

Krishnamoorthi agreed: "I'm really disappointed that Speaker Ryan didn't present us with this particular bill sooner than tonight. We need regular order around here so -- I'm rank and file, I'm not leadership. I don't run the trains around here. All I can say is, I need more time to read through this thing. I'd like to work with people like Congressman Meadows and make it a better bill. But if the choice is not funding the troops, not taking care of the veterans, not taking care of the opioid crisis, and a shutdown, I can't do that," Krishnamoorthi said.

Ingraham noted that the Republican leadership is putting Krishnamoorthi and all lawmakers in that position: "And it's the way Washington works. It's like, you gotta do what you gotta do, you gotta pass it because otherwise the troops aren't going to get--it's just ridiculous! We cannot do this to the American taxpayers and our future generations," Ingraham said, concluding the interview.


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