Democrats Pass $1.3 Trillion Spending Package for 2021

Democrats Pass $1.3 Trillion Spending Package for 2021

Reuters/Tom Brenner

The House on Friday passed a massive $1.3 trillion spending package that includes $210 billion in emergency funding for the government’s response to the coronavirus. The pandemic-specific funding would target multiple initiatives, including state and local public health departments, medical research, and public housing.

The rest of the bill would fund most of the federal government in the 2021 fiscal year, including the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation and Energy. Appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security were removed from the package earlier this week due to disagreements within the Democratic caucus over Trump administration immigration policing policies.

Last week, the House passed a $259 billion package that would fund the departments of State, Interior, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, among others. Ten of the 12 annual spending bills for 2021 have now passed the House.

Why it matters: The funding bills have virtually no chance of making it past the Republican-controlled Senate, Politico reports, and President Trump has threatened to veto them if they somehow do. Politically, the bills amount to an opening bid from Democrats in negotiations with Republicans over government funding for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. But those negotiations may take some time to get started, since the appropriations process in the Senate has stalled, and none of the 12 funding bills have passed so far. (You can track the progress of the 2021 appropriations bills at the Congressional Research Service website.)