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Vox, March 23, 2018:
On Wednesday night, congressional leaders unveiled the “omni”: a massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill covering everything from defense to border security to opioids. In Congress, a spending bill spanning multiple budget areas is known as an “omnibus.”
On Thursday, the House and Senate passed the bill. If signed by President Trump, the legislation will keep the government open through September 30, giving us at least six months without a major budgetary showdown.
But then, Trump threatened to veto the legislation, with only 15 hours left before a shutdown begins at the end of Friday night.
Trump eventually backed down and signed the bill, but his last-minute change of heart highlighted the precarious state the legislation has been in all week.
Passage in Congress wasn’t assured. While the Republican leadership originally scheduled release of the text for Monday night, it didn’t come for another two days, prompting consternation among some members of Congress.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who forced a brief shutdown in February to emphasize his opposition to increased federal spending, opposed the omnibus. So did the House Freedom Caucus, an influential subgroup of conservative members,, as well as the Heritage Foundation. House Democrats and Republican hardliners opposed the underlying rule allowing the bill to pass; the rule squeaked through, 211 to 207.