Local congressmen react to federal spending bill

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How much does it take to fund the federal government? About $7.2 billion a day. That’s according to Congress, who in the past 48 hours approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill. The legislation funds the government for the next 6 months.

Maryland Reresentative Andy Harris voted against the new spending bill, saying the $1.3 trillion spending bill will balloon the deficit while funding sanctuary cities and ignoring border security. Rep. Harris was the only local lawmaker to vote against the bill.

Delaware Senator Chris Coons says he helped add $380 million into the spending bill for election security grants. Under the provision, every state will get at least $3 million to replace outdated voting machines, upgrade computer systems and implement post-election audits.  He says its critical the funding gets to states immediately so that Russia can’t hack the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper says the bill secures crucial environmental funding, including $5 million to help clean and protect the Delaware River Basin and another $73 million for the Chesapeake Bay program. He says he is also pleased that the legislation included to improve the background check program for purchasing firearms and has funding for the NIH to study gun violence for the first time in 20 years.

Delaware Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester and Maryland’s Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen all voted in favor of the bill as well.

The bill now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk, who is reportedly mulling over whether or not to veto the bill.