While the ongoing impeachment saga consumes significant attention this week, the House of Representatives passed a spending package Tuesday afternoon. It had its share of critics, including a few Republicans.
The two halves of the Omnibus bill just passed with veto proof majorities.— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 17, 2019
297 : 120
280 : 138
We had less than 24 hours to review 2,000+ pages AND they added tax credits to it last night.#readthebills
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) also blasted the spending bills, which will avoid a government shutdown this week. He said that his staff only laid eyes on the legislation late Monday afternoon. The conservative congressman described it as “atrocious.”
“Days like today everyone declares bipartisanship. But in this version of bipartisanship it is the bipartisan smell of Christmas jet fumes and everyone’s desire to get home, fueling the worst kind of bipartisanship,” Rep. Roy declared during a speech. “The kind that says to heck with it, keep spending money we don’t have and leave it to our kids and grandkids to clean up. No one has read the bill. It’s a massive unreadable 2,313 page bill filled with government expanded goodies and spending and it was dropped on us yesterday afternoon at 4:30pm. My staff got their first look at 4:30.”
These spending bills are atrocious. It'll be interesting to watch my Republican colleagues, who look their constituents in the eyes while campaigning on fiscal restraint and a "balanced budget amendment," vote in favor of this package. The party of fiscal restraint ... pic.twitter.com/HOICzkO96i— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) December 17, 2019
It would seem heading into a vote on articles of #impeachment our nation's leaders would be bitterly divided, but that isn't the case.— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) December 17, 2019
Rs and Ds are poised to leverage the future of our children today with the $1.4 trillion spending bills they'll champion as "wins."
My Democratic colleagues don't care about leveraging the futures of your children and grandchildren ... so long as they get their pet projects and radical agendas funded.— Rep. Chip Roy (@RepChipRoy) December 17, 2019
Less than 24-hours to read these bills ... This is your "People's House" at work, America. You like it?
Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) also said he will vote against the legislation.
An additional corporate welfare section was added in the middle of the night. These spending bills are now 2,366 pages. https://t.co/akvC6c5eJm— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 17, 2019
One part of the legislation would increase the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old, meaning that young Americans who are old enough to fight for their country would be prevented from purchasing tobacco products at a store.
With the support of leaders in both parties, Congress is moving to approve a batch of year-end budget bills which contain a provision that will raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years, a landmark legislative change which will include e-cigarettes and all vaping products.
"It shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell a tobacco product to any person younger than 21 years of age," the bill states on page 1493, as the tobacco provision was stuffed into a broader package of year end funding measures for the federal government. (AJC)
The Military Times notes that there is not an exception for those serving in the military: “Nineteen states, the District of Columbia and Guam already ban tobacco sales to anyone under 21. The new law will apply to the rest of the country and all military bases.”
Some legislators support this measure. Senator Mitch McConnell who previously introduced the Tobacco-Free Youth Act with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) is one of those supporters: “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that he successfully secured the Tobacco-Free Youth Act in the Fiscal Year 2020 government agreement,” a press release states.
Never smoked in my life but this is absurd. But big tobacco actually wants it so there you go... power politics in the swamp... https://t.co/HzAJtYaUQE— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) December 17, 2019
Can anyone defend stuffing this in the omnibus spending bill? This should be a separate piece of legislation. What else is going to be in this trillion dollar bill? https://t.co/aaeNxCcHZy— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 16, 2019
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway has indicated that President Trump plans to sign the spending measures.
Conway noted to reporters that $1.375 billion in the legislation will go toward the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which was one of Trump’s key 2016 campaign promises. That same issue triggered a shutdown at the end of last year which lasted for more than a month.
“A year after [Democrats] called it a manufactured crisis, the president is getting $1.375 billion for his wall, and they didn’t mess with his authorities at all,” Conway added. “There’s a lot of good stuff in there.” (The Epoch Times)
Swamp update: received $1.4 Trillion 2313 pages of spending at 4:30pm yesterday. Yet was just noticed we will vote at 1:10-1:25 p.m today - less than 24 hours later. I will vote no on both bills. @realDonaldTrump should veto & @HouseGOP & @SenateGOP should oppose. But... pic.twitter.com/sAO7zt4R0C— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) December 17, 2019