New House Speaker Paul Ryan is being praised for the massive budget deal he's struck, but many conservatives are panning parts of the bill that they see as a win for Democrats.
"Considered as a whole, an overriding theme [of the deal] is that everyone gets a lot of money but neither side hammers home that big-ticket ideological victory," Slate wrote on Wednesday.
"In other words, it’s a compromise."
Gathered below are 11 provisions of the bill that have been chalked up as wins or losses for the Republican Party. The bill is expected to be passed Friday.
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1. Loss: $1.1 trillion in spending
— The 2016 omnibus appropriations package is anything but a vision of small, limited government. Politico reported
that the House Freedom Caucus "hates" the massive funding bill, as "Spending levels are billions of dollars higher than what conservatives wanted."
2. Win: $680 billion in tax breaks
— The so-called "tax-extenders" bill extends and, in some cases, makes permanent a great many tax breaks that were set to expire, including the research and development tax credit and the Section 179 small-business expensing deduction. This is win for business and the economy, however, without being coupled with spending cuts, it doesn't do much for the deficit or the notion of a balanced budget.
3. Win: Paul Ryan's uniting of the party
— "In terms of the process, I can tell you I’ve had more meaningful conversations with the speaker and leadership in the last couple of weeks than I think I have in the last couple of years," said Rep. Mark Meadows, who instigated the revolt against former Speaker John Boehner this fall, Politico reported
. "I would give it an A-plus in terms of trying to reach out to the rank and file."
4. Win: Ending the ban on crude oil exports
— "In a move considered unthinkable even a few months ago, congressional leaders have agreed to lift the nation’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, a historic action that reflects political and economic shifts driven by a boom in U.S. oil drilling," The Wall Street Journal reported
. Many have argued that ending the ban "would eliminate market distortions, stimulate the U.S. economy and boost national security."
5. Loss: Extending wind and solar subsidies
— Along with ending the ban on oil exports, Democrats sought what they called environmental measures. " These include extending and then phasing down wind and solar-tax credits; reauthorizing for three years a conservation fund; and excluding any measures that block major Obama administration environmental regulations," The Wall Street Journal reported
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6. Win: Postponing two major Obamacare taxes
— According to The Hill
, Speaker Ryan "told colleagues that the spending bill will postpone the 'Cadillac tax' on expensive healthcare plans and the tax package will place a two-year moratorium on the medical device tax, two critical sources of revenue for ObamaCare." This could ultimately undermine and make it easier to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
7. Win: Health insurance for 9/11 first responders
— The spending omnibus includes a $8.1 billion extension for firefighters, police, and other first-responders who came to the rescue when the Twin Towers were felled by terrorists in 2001.
8. Loss: Failure to halt Syrian refugee resettlement program
— Many conservatives were upset that none of the provisions of the deal would halt the Obama administration's plan to resettle thousands if not tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War. "A stand-alone measure to tighten those restrictions passed overwhelmingly in the House, but the White House and Senate Democrats said they would block it," The New York Times reported
9. Loss: Planned Parenthood keeps funding
— "Planned Parenthood is praising Democrats in Congress after the spending bill released early Wednesday morning spared the organization from cuts," The Hill reported
. Republicans and some Democrats were outraged this summer when a series of undercover videos purportedly showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetus tissues and organs for medical research. The outcry prompted the abortion provider to announce it would no longer ask for any reimbursement for the donated fetuses. Republicans wanted to cut the organizations funding, and/or re-allocate it to community health centers that provide women's services, but not abortion.
10. Win: Overhauling the Visa Waiver program
— The new spending bill will bar anyone who has visited Syria or Iraq in the last five years from entering the U.S. without a visa. Additionally, "anyone who is a national of Iraq or Syria in addition to being a national of a partner country" will also be barred from obtaining a Visa Waiver, Politico reported
. The provision also allows the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to bar entire countries from the program if they're suspected of harboring terrorists.
11. Win: Cybersecurity legislation
— According to NPR
, the spending bill will enact legislation that will "encourage companies to share with the government and each other technical details of hacking threats (for example, IP addresses or malicious code), as close to in real time as possible." This will help defend against foreign computer hackers.
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