What’s in Congress’ spending bill? 5 things to know about the omnibus package

The Senate passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, which is 2,232 pages, with a…

What’s in Congress’ spending bill? 5 things to know about the omnibus package

The Senate passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, which is 2,232 pages, with a 65-32 vote just after midnight Friday, making their deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown.

President Trump signed the spending bill Friday despite an earlier threat to veto the legislation.

“800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” the president tweeted Friday morning.

Trump said he had to sign the bill “as a matter of national security.”

“There are a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill…But I say to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again,” he added.

Read on for a look at five things to know about the omnibus bill.


President Trump didn’t get every penny he wanted for his border security plan, but a solution for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program aren’t going to find reprieve in the bill either.

The bill includes $1.57 billion for barriers along the border. Democrats seemed willing to concede on that funding, but dug in their heels against Trump’s plan to hire hundreds of new Border Patrol and immigration enforcement agents.

Gun violence

The bill does include incremental steps to curb gun violence, including the so-called “Fix NICS” measure which would strengthen the background check system.

The measure to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), would provide additional funding to agencies and states that comply with the system. Those that did not, would be penalized.

More than $2 billion was also allocated to train school officials and law enforcement officers to identify signs of potential violence so they would be able to intervene earlier. This money, to improve school safety, would also be used to install metal detectors.

Gateway project

Despite opposition from Trump, a project to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River could get some funding through this bill.

The Gateway project has garnered bipartisan support among many New York and New Jersey lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

The House spending bill initially allocated $900 million for the project, according to NJ Advance Media. The spending bill removed the earmark that protected funding for the project, but a Schumer aide said it should still get significant funding.

The Gateway Project could receive as much as $540 million, the New York Post reported.

New York and New Jersey have committed to picking up half of the estimated $11 billion cost.

Tax fix

When Republicans pushed their $1.5 trillion tax bill last year, they did so in such a quick manner that it included mistakes. One of those mistakes was language that accidentally gave farmers a higher tax advantage if they sold crops to cooperatives as opposed to other buyers.

The spending bill fixed some of these mistakes. Democrats were able to get on board with the fix in exchange for expanded tax credits for low-income housing.

Johnson Amendment

The spending bill leaves out two provisions included in a previous House plan that would dismantle the Johnson Amendment, the 1954 tax law that prohibits charitable, philanthropic and religious organizations from partisan politicking.

Trump signed an executive order in May 2017 aimed at weakening the law.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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