First Trump-Era Spending Law Funds Planned Parenthood, Not Border Wall

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( – President Donald Trump signed the first federal spending law of his administration yesterday, a one-week extension of the spending law signed by President Barack Obama in December that was set to expire last night.

The law Trump signed permits funding of Planned Parenthood but not for a border wall.

During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump vowed to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to defund Planned Parenthood so long as it continues to provide abortions.

The House approved the bill—H.J. Res. 99—by a 382 to 30 vote, with 18 members not voting. The Senate passed it by a voice vote—foregoing a roll call.

Sixteen House Republicans voted against the bill. They included: Justin Amash (Mich.), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Thomas Garrett (Va.), Trey Hollingsworth (Indiana), Sam Johnson (Texas), Walter Jones (N.C.), Steve King (Iowa), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Alex Mooney (W.V.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), John Ratcliffe (Texas), Jim Renacci (Ohio), Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisc.), Robert Wittman (Va.).

This spending law, as signed by President Trump, continues federal funding at current levels and for current programs for just one week.

“This resolution will ensure that the government stays open for another week, until May 5, 2017, to give Congress additional time,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R.-N.J.) explained on the House floor on Friday.

“It continues all policy and funding provisions in the currently enacted continuing resolution,” Frelinghuysen said.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.), the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, said: “The continuing resolution we are considering today is a simple date change to continue government funding through next Friday.”

Democrats in both the House and Senate say they will refuse to support legislation to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2017—which ends on Sept. 30—if the legislation includes what they call “poison pills.”

“[W]e must make progress on eliminating poison pill riders and advancing shared priorities in an omnibus appropriations act,” Lowey said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, complained on the Senate floor before the voice vote on the 1-week CR that Trump and Republicans had called for funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and advancing a “partisan agenda on abortion.”

“For 5 months we have faced one partisan obstacle after another from the Trump administration,” Leahy said, ‘including a demand to fund a misguided wall on the southern border at the expense of billions of dollars that would have to be paid for—not by Mexico or anybody else. It would be paid for by the American taxpayers. The administration then threatened to hold hostage the basic health insurance of millions of Americans, crippling the Affordable Care Act. This is more than insulting. It is malicious, and it is wrong.

“Now,” Leahy said, “the other side of the aisle is holding the budget of the American people hostage, insisting we include dozens of poison pill riders as the price for funding the people’s government and to advance their partisan agenda on abortion, Dodd-Frank, Wall Street reforms, and the environment.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) said just before the voice vote on the CR that the Democrats were demanding that there be “zero” of what he called “poison pill riders” on the next CR which the Congress would need to pass to keep the government funded past next Friday.

“We are willing to have a voice vote on a short-term extension of the government funding in the hopes that we can wrap this up early next week,” Schumer said. “As I said last night, there is still a handful of unresolved poison pill riders, fewer than there were yesterday at 6 o’clock because of the work they did overnight, but there are still some out there. I want to reiterate the Democratic position. We don’t want them—zero.”

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