House approves $982.8 billion spending bill that would fund part of the...

House approves $982.8 billion spending bill that would fund part of the government through FY 2020

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U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon approved a $982.8 billion “minibus” spending bill that would fund part of the government through FY 2020.

The measure passed 226-203. All Republicans voted no, as did 7 Democrats.

The minibus is the first installment in a series of three spending packages. It covers 4 of the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government each year.

The legislation funds the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, Defense, State and Foreign Operations, as well as Energy and Water Development spending bills.

The HHS portion of the legislation leaves intact the Hyde Amendment, a 1977 law that prohibits the use of taxpayer money for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

Several of the more progressive Democrats had pushed to remove the Hyde Amendment from the bill but their amendments were defeated. Had they prevailed, the legislation likely would have been defeated in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The House tonight will begin debate on the second minibus. That bill provides $383.3 billion and funds 5 of the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government.

Lawmakers hope to pass all of the FY 2020 spending bills before Congress adjourns for the one-week July 4 recess, which begins on Friday, June 28.

The government is funded through Sept. 30.

Lawmakers are trying to negotiate a two-year spending caps deal that would prevent automatic spending cuts that are set to kick-in next year.

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