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House passes $1.1T omnibus appropriations bill by narrow vote

The Keams Canyon Hospital in Arizona. Photo from IHS

The House voted 219 to 206 on Thursday to pass H.R.83, the Omnibus Appropriations bill, amid opposition from members of both parties.

The $1.1 trillion bill only drew the support of 57 Democrats due to concerns about policy riders that scale back domestic programs and appear to weaken oversight of the financial industry. And 67 Republicans voted against a package because they said it didn't go far enough to curb wasteful spending or address issues like immigration.

The objections from both parties nearly derailed the bill. By a vote of 214 to 212, Republicans barely got enough support to bring it up for consideration.

According to news reports, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Michigan), who won't be returning to Congress next year, initially cast a no vote. But he changed it to yes at the last minute.

Democrats were even more upset. The White House issued a one-sentence statement earlier in the day in support of the bill and they blamed President Barack Obama for forcing them into accepting a deal that averts a government shutdown.

“I’m enormously disappointed that the White House feels that the only way they can get a bill is to go along with this,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the House minority leader, said on the floor. “That would be the only reason I think they would say they would sign such a bill.”

The 1,603-page package was unveiled on Tuesday night. It includes $2.6 billion – $70 million above current levels -- for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and $4.6 billion – $208 million above current levels -- for the Indian Health Service.

The bill awaits consideration in the Senate.

Get the Story:
House passes $1.1 trillion spending bill (The Washington Post 12/12)
Battle Over Spending Measure Shifts to the Senate (The New York Times 12/12)

Relevant Documents:
Press Release: Omnibus Package Responsibly Funds the Federal Government, Avoids a Shutdown, Makes Good-Government Policy Changes | Rogers-Mikulski Joint Statement on Omnibus Agreement | FY 2015 Omnibus – Interior & Environment Appropriations | Division F - Interior & Environment Appropriations | Full Text of House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R.83 | Additional Documents - See Senate Amendment to H.R. 83

Related Stories:
Lawmakers unveil massive appropriations bill to fund government (12/9)

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