December 18, 2015 - 10:46 AM EST
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House approves $1.1T spending bill, Senate expected to follow

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) --

The House passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure that includes a change to Obamacare and keeps the government running through September 2016.

The bill, while bipartisan, has faced conservative criticism for high spending and the omission of language that would put restrictions on Syrian refugees and the women's health provider Planned Parenthood. The measure passed 316-113 with 150 Republicans and 166 Democrats in support. It is expected to clear the Senate later Friday, before members break for the holiday. President Obama is expected to sign the measure.

Included in the omnibus bill is a two-year suspension of the Obamacare Cadillac tax on high-cost insurance plans. It's a move Democrats backed in support of workers' rights, but was opposed by the Obama administration, which argues it is aimed at keeping down healthcare costs. The White House indicated Obama would not veto the whole bill over the issue.

Many Republicans were disappointed because they were not able to secure restrictions on Syrian refugees entering the country or block funding for Planned Parenthood, in the spotlight for allegedly selling aborted fetal tissue. It does include language lifting a decades-old ban on crude oil exports. The bill also puts performance-based scrutiny on student loan servicers, a move seen as a way to help borrowers repay their debts.

House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the legislation as a bipartisan compromise despite the expansive nature of the bill.

The way I look at this is, we have made the best of the situation we have, Ryan said. There are some really good wins in here for the American people. There are very good wins in here for the economy, for job creators, for taxpayers.

Source: United Press International (December 18, 2015 - 10:46 AM EST)

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