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Congress Passes Trillion Dollar Spending Bill

The $1.1 trillion dollar spending deal easily passed both chambers of Congress on Friday morning after weeks of negotiations.
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The $1.1 trillion dollar spending deal easily passed both chambers of Congress on Friday morning after weeks of negotiations to fund the government through September.

The bill, commonly referred to as the omnibus, passed the House 316 to 113 in one of the last votes that chamber's members took this year.The Senate followed suit and easily passed the measure, 65-33.

The legislation, which also includes a package of extended tax breaks called 'tax extenders,’ now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature.

Despite last minute complaints from House Democrats, they were able to produce 166 votes for the bill to push the legislation through that chamber. The tax extenders bill passed the House on Thursday, 318-109.

“Today, the House came together to ensure our government is open and working for the American people. This bipartisan compromise secures meaningful wins for Republicans and the American people, such as the repeal of the outdated, anti-growth ban on oil exports," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in a statement after the House vote.

Related: House Democrats Have Concerns Over Details in Trillion-Dollar Spending Deal

Both sides admitted the spending package wasn’t perfect but acknowledged that’s what happens in divided government.

“This is a big win for American’s working families. I am very proud of the big vote that we had from our members once they saw what was really, what was actually in the bill,” Pelosi told reporters at a press conference following the House vote.

While Republicans hailed lifting the 40-year ban on exporting American crude oil in the deal — arguably their sides biggest win in the agreement — Democrats called it a “very harmful” ingredient causing much of the uncertainty in how the vote would come out.

“After long and serious study of the bill’s details, I concluded that while I detest lifting the oil export ban, I will not empower Big Oil to upend so many victories for hard-working American families,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues Thursday urging them to support the legislation after its passage appeared in jeopardy.

No language was included in the omnibus that helped provide any debt relief for Puerto Rico — another gripe from Democrats who called it “profoundly disappointing.”

“Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis is a problem that is not going away any time soon,” Ryan said in a statement this week. “I am instructing our House committees of jurisdiction to work with the Puerto Rican government to come up with a responsible solution by the end of the first quarter of next year.”

The assurance by the Speaker to address the dire situation in Puerto Rico early in 2016 seemed to help put some Democrats at ease.

Related: Congress Set to Extend Lifetime Health Care Benefits for 9/11 First Responders

Despite language being left out of the omnibus making it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States or trying to defund Planned Parenthood — two main wants from conservatives — a majority of Republicans still rallied behind the measure.

Ryan — who only became Speaker at the end of October — has reiterated that he inherited a cake “more than half-baked” from his predecessor John Boehner, R-Ohio, forcing a massive spending deal to be jammed through Congress just before the holidays rather than letting the committee process work its will. Next year, Ryan vowed, the process will be different.

“In 2016 we will make it our goal to pass all 12 appropriation bills through regular order…this hasn't been done since 1994. But it's how Congress ought to operate so that we can better protect the tax payer dollars and make our place the true representative body that it is,” Ryan said at a press conference Thursday.

With 150 House Republicans voting in favor of the measure, that is seen as a major vote of confidence in the new Speaker to lead the party after conservatives forced out Boehner earlier this fall.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., missed the day's votes. On Thursday, Rubio told Fox that he may try to slow consideration of the bill.

The Senate had locked in an agreement to vote on the bill right after the House vote.

"Washington's leadership has created another massive spending bill in secret and rammed it through Congress, hoping that the American people don't notice or have become numb to this kind of business as usual," Rubio said in a statement after the vote. "This is what a broken Washington looks like under President Obama and what Congress reverts to without conservative presidential leadership."

The Rubio campaign said that the senator had "barely 48 hours to review over 2,000 pages of spending" and has "consistently voted against those sorts of bills." The trend won't change until there is a new president, his campaign said, so he opted to meet with voters in Iowa on Friday.

Fellow Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voted no. So did Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted yes.