US Sens. Booker and Menendez praise bipartisan spending bill compromise

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Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez say they are happy that federal lawmakers were able to reach a bipartisan deal with President Donald Trump to pass a $1 trillion spending bill.

The weekend bill averts a government shutdown.

“I think it’s a good omen for the future,” Menendez says.

There is a $2 billion increase to the National Institutes of Health and no cuts to Planned Parenthood.

“We were able to stop some of the other things that we thought were going to hurt folks, including slashing of the Environmental Protection Agency, streams of resources we depend upon to keep our state safe and healthy,” Booker says.

Both parties say that they are happy about a $407 million budget for wildfire relief and a permanent extension of a program that provides health insurance to coal miners.

“We’re taking care of our miners. We love our miners,” Trump said at a weekend rally.

The budget will also include billions of dollars for new defense spending, as well as $1.5 billion for border security. The money will go toward border patrol and custom agents, but not for a border wall.

“I’m glad to see that we’re not building a wall of billions of dollars that we’d have to pay for,” Menendez says.

The bipartisan bill is the first major compromise for the Trump administration. But the spending bill only keeps the government open through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

The spending bill is expected to pass both chambers by the end of the week.

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