Congress debuts $1.3 trillion spending deal

Yesterday evening, Congress unveiled a $1.3 trillion spending bill, which is expected to pass in the House and Senate.

The bill comes within the final weeks before Congress breaks for the holidays, and as they narrowly avoid a government shutdown. The spending bill includes measures that allocates $25 million for federal gun violence research and a 3.1% pay raise for civilian federal employees. Additionally, it repeals several taxes from the Affordable Care Act.

The legislation is expected to pass in the House and Senate when both chambers vote early next week. Other allocations are set for President Trump's border wall, which will receive $1.375 billion in funding. This is a significantly smaller amount than President Trump requested from Congress to secure our national border, but the administration has the power to take funds from other accounts.

The legislation also includes $7.6 billion in funding for the 2020 census, $425 million in election security grants, and a $22 billion boost in Pentagon funding (The Week).

Another notable portion of the bill is increasing the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, in hopes of mitigating the use of e-cigarettes and vapes which have caused hundreds of health problems for young adults. Congress' productive end to the year reflects the ability for Congress to unite to pass meaningful legislation.
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