Congress Finishes Spending Bill, Sends Legislation To Trump

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Collins is a moderate senator whose vote will be important in the narrowly divided Senate.

"This bill is far from flawless, but it's better than how we are spending our money today, better than how we were spending our money a year ago", the Republican senator Roy Blunt said on the Senate floor.

They weren't waiting for final passage to celebrate. "What a great group of people". Trump exclaimed at the White House, arms raised to salute the dozens of lawmakers who hurried to join him in the Rose Garden immediately after the vote.

Few expect all dozen bills to be passed on time.

"This was not winning from the Republican point of view".

Trump praises the House GOP bill to repeal and replace the Obama health care law.

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The legislation adds $12.5bn in defense spending.

Republican leaders in the House and White House wanted to implement a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans (the health care bill passed Thursday) as a prelude to adopting a second massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations (the tax bill that's next on their agenda).

The latest iteration of the GOP bill would let states escape a current requirement that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. The spending bill continues funding for Obamacare as well as Planned Parenthood, a women's health organization that performs abortions.

Anyway, this thing is now in the hands of the Senate, where they'll have to wait for that CBO analysis and it faces significant hurdles.

A proposed $880 billion cut to Medicaid was in an earlier version of the bill and based on a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the measure. In one little-noted provision, employer plans could take advantage of state flexibility under the legislation to pick and choose which states' rules to live by.

The late-night hosts are experts in comedy and absurdity, so, appropriately, they had a lot to say about Thursday's vote in the House of Representatives, which inched Congress closer to repealing Obamacare.

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"You'd think the 217 heartless legislators who voted for this monstrosity would be hiding their heads in shame".

All of the officials asked not to be identified to speak candidly about White House strategy.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, however, says she's not so certain the House plan would protect people from higher costs. The Republicans seemed unworried, many of them busing to the White House for a victory appearance with the president.

Pelosi bitterly told Republicans they would have the bill "tattooed on your forehead. Many of you are here because you pledged to cast this vote".

"This will be a big deal in the budget debate", said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.

Trump's engagement included a threat: on March 30, he suggested in a tweet that he'd back primary challenges to conservatives who opposed the bill. More information on the American Health Care Act, including details on protections for those with pre-existing conditions: http://bit.ly/2pdJeOF. The Chamber of Commerce supported the bill.

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Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor contributed.

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