The House on Friday passed a six-bill, $1.3 trillion package that funds the vast majority of the federal government’s discretionary spending programs for fiscal 2021 and covers big-ticket areas such as defense, health and education.
Democrats touted billions of additional dollars for medical research and emergency spending in the measure to try to support recovery efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Think about who we need to benefit in this institution, what our responsibilities are,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat. “Our responsibilities are to the working families, the essential workers today who are on the frontlines trying to just … get by.”
The bill won’t make it through the GOP-controlled Senate, and the White House threatened a veto.
Despite the action on Friday, lawmakers are headed toward another stopgap bill to keep the government running past Sept. 30 and avert a potential shutdown a month before November’s election.
Senate appropriators haven’t advanced any of their 2021 spending bills through committee. The focus in the Senate in recent weeks has been on negotiations over another coronavirus relief package.
Nevertheless, House Democrats say passing their individual 2021 appropriations bills is an important statement of their party’s values.
House Republicans said that the more than $200 billion in emergency spending in Democrats’ bill amounted to an end-run around spending caps lawmakers had agreed to last year.
The GOP also said Democrats tucked in a number of partisan “poison pill” riders to tie President Trump’s hands that violated the spirit of last year’s budget deal.