Corker on $1.3T spending bill: 'Grotesque'

Updated: Mar. 22, 2018 at 4:55 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (WMC) - The House easily passed a bipartisan $1.3 trillion spending bill Thursday, but one Tennessee senator will not be voting in approval.

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) called the bill one of the most "grotesque" pieces of legislation he can remember.

Corker said the bill includes $2 trillion in deficit spending over the next 10 years.

Corker mentions the financial crisis of 2009 and how much work was done to reverse it, and he fears the same may be happening.

Corker said Democrats and Republicans alike are "running off the cliff," even those who once took his side against a previous tax bill that would have created significant additions to an already large spending deficit.

"I could not be more discouraged about where we are today with our adult leadership here in Congress and at the White House. This is one of the most grotesque pieces of legislation I can remember," Corker said. "This is a grotesque piece of legislation. [It is] grotesque that we would pass a piece of legislation that would set the standard for $2 trillion in deficit spending, not offset."

The White House said President Donald Trump supported the legislation, even though he tweeted Wednesday that he "had to waste money on Dem giveaways" on domestic programs to win increases for the military.

Congressional Republicans focused on the bill's defense increases.

"Vote yes for our military. Vote yes for the safety and the security of this country," said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).

Democrats touted spending boosts on biomedical research, child care, and infrastructure projects. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), attributed part of the House's hasty work on the measure to GOP fears of being stuck in Washington on Saturday, when huge throngs of students and others are expected to demonstrate in support of gun control.

Some Democrats were opposed because it lacked language renewing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Trump has ended DACA, which temporarily lets some young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children stay in the U.S.

Senate passage has been assured, with the possibility that some Republican senators who disapprove, like Corker, could delay its approval.

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