House Passes $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, Starting Process to Avert Shutdown
Massive measure was released the night before the vote, so members didn't have time to read it

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., walks through Statuary Hall on his way to his office after the House voted to proceed with the omnibus funding bill Thursday morning, March 22, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, starting the process for averting a government shutdown and ending government funding by stopgap. 

The vote was 256-167. The bill includes funding boosts to defense that Republicans sought, as well as to domestic programs on the non-defense side of the ledger that Democrats sought. 

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Outside Groups See Validation of 2018 Strategy in Lipinski-Newman Race
Allies of both Newman and Lipinski celebrated this week’s close race

First-time candidate Marie Newman, center, narrowly lost a primary to Rep. Dan Lipinski. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outside groups that spent on either side of the close Democratic primary in Illinois’ 3rd District are feeling energized by the results as they look ahead to the 2018 midterms and beyond.

Seven-term Rep. Dan Lipinski narrowly defeated first-time candidate Marie Newman on Tuesday in a race that only looked competitive in the final months of the campaign. He finished with 51 percent of the vote to Newman’s 49 percent. 

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Paul Ryan Claims He's Done ‘A Phenomenal Job’ Restoring Regular Order
Speakers blames rushed omnibus process on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., walks through Statuary Hall on his way to his office after the House voted to proceed with the omnibus funding bill Thursday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan thinks he’s lived up to his promise to open up debate on legislation and restore so-called regular order in the House, blaming the rushed process of the fiscal 2018 omnibus on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral. 

“By and large we’ve done a phenomenal job,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked if he feels he’s delivered on the promises he made to House Republicans when taking over as speaker in 2015.

Cramer’s Son Dies at 35 After Kidney and Liver Failure
North Dakota Republican just launched his bid for Senate

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. D., said his other son’s birthday is also on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota announced Thursday the death of his son, Isaac Cramer.

Cramer died at the Mayo Clinic Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, the congressman announced in a Facebook post. He was 35.

Trump Orders Tariffs on Chinese Goods Over ‘Economic Aggression’
Penalties could cool U.S. president‘s relations with Xi

The flags of the United States and China on a table when the countries’ military leaders met in 2014. On Thursday, President Trump announced tariffs on some Chinese goods. (U.S. Army Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump intends to slap new tariffs and other penalties on Chinese goods in response to what U.S. officials contend is Beijing’s practice of stealing technology and companies’ information.

Senior White House officials described Trump as giving Chinese leaders months to alter its practices, only to conclude they have no intention of doing so. Officials said the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations “worked very hard” to improve trade relations with Beijing, but ultimately had only “failed dialogues” to show for those efforts.

House Narrowly Passes Rule to Begin Debate on Omnibus
Some Freedom Caucus members join Democrats in voting against it

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and former chairman Jim Jordan are leading their group's charge against the omnibus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday narrowly passed a rule to begin debate on the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, a more-than-2200 page measure GOP leaders had released just the previous night.

Several members of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus joined Democrats in voting against the rule, which set up a single hour of debate and blocked amendments to the bill. The final tally was 211-207.