two-year budget bill, with funding for military construction, wins passage in us senate
Legislation substantially increasing the federal budget has been approved on a 67 to 28 vote in the U.S. Senate and is now on its way to the White House for President Trump’s signature.
The bill, which won approval last week in the House, means a $1.3 trillion budget for the 2020 fiscal year, with $738 billion going for defense spending, and another $632 billion in non-defense spending.
Overall, the military budget was increased by about 3 percent over the last fiscal year.
Both Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico voted in favor of the bill, as did Arizona Senators Krysten Sinema and Martha McSally.
Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner voted in opposition.
Spending in the budget for military site construction and infrastructure projects is up by more than 5 percent over fiscal year 2019.
The budget deal, designed to prevent a partial government shutdown later this year, will also suspend the federal debt limit until July 31, 2021.
Heinrich said he voted for the legislation because of his opposition to tax cuts enacted last year by Trump and more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush. “If you take those away, we go back to a sustainable level,” he said.
But Colorado’s Gardner said of the proposed budget: “It’s just a lot of money and at some point, things become so free we can’t afford it.”
The legislation is expected to be signed into law by the President, who earlier praised the bill in a Twitter message.
By Garry Boulard
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