Americans Breathe Sigh Of Relief After Moderate Spending Bill Sent To Congress

For some, fears of President Trump being a fringe conservative are eroding.

With Donald Trump's first spending bill on its way to Congress, one theme keeps reappearing: relief. 

Moderate Democrats and Republicans have expressed relief, surprise, and hope at an omnibus bill that will keep the government open and is totally devoid of the shock to the system that many expected. Even better, the bill seems to be playing well for both Democrats and Republicans.

With Republican politicians having control over the House, the Senate and the presidency — despite Trump losing the popular vote — some Americans feared the new president's first spending bill would be absent of any of their needs. Even some Republicans thought the bill would end up going "too far" right.

Instead, though, it seems to be shooting right down the middle. 

When far-right news outlets such as Breitbart News are praising the bill alongside notorious left-leaning outlets like Vox, something is up. Breitbart has hailed the bill as a success for its increase in military spending, which got a $15 billion boost to fight terrorism. But more moderate Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell managed to prevent Trump from slashing domestic spending, and even got $4.6 billion put aside "to permanently extend health benefits to 22,000 retired Appalachian coal miners and their families," according to The Washington Post. These two caveats are something Democrats will be happy to read.

One of Trump's most controversial promises, the wall along the United States' southern border with Mexico, received no funding. The legislative language included in the bill even prevented any of the $2 billion they signed off on for border security from going to any such wall. With just 35 percent of Americans supporting funding for a border wall, many saw this development as a win. 

It's also worth noting that politicians and Americans on the border don't actually want a wall in their backyards.

Environmentalists feared drastic cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, which was expecting to take a huge blow. Instead, they only lost one percent of their $8 billion budget. Considering only 19 percent of Americans want to see the EPA "weakened or eliminated," this is a positive development.

Trump and his GOP allies also promised to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which 80 percent of Americans opposed in a recent Quinnipiac poll (after being informed the funding "was being used only for non-abortion health issues such as breast cancer screening"). Fortunately, that overwhelming majority of Americans got their way: Planned Parenthood didn't lose a cent in the new omnibus spending bill. 

States like Florida, New Jersey, and New York were also given a pot of $61 million to refund themselves for the cost of defending the Trump family, which is spread out across the country. The de-funding of sanctuary cities, which Trump tried to force through an executive order before being stopped by a federal judge, was not included. While this issue has mixed reviews from Americans, polls suggest we need more public discourse before any legislation is pushed.

Perhaps most notably, though, was the $2 billion put aside for an initiative started by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to help find a cure for cancer. That money will go directly to the National Institute for Health, an organization Trump promised to defund before facing an outcry on social media.  The budget also blocked the Justice Department which was trying to prevent states from dispensing legal medical marijuana, a goal most Americans would certainly have opposed.

For months, Americans have fretted with what many expected to be an unprecedented change to where taxpayer money was going. Instead, the new spending bill is nearly indistinguishable from Republican-led bills of the past, and even offered a few olive branches to the other side.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin


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