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Devoid of DeVos and Wall-less Border Wall: What’s Not in the Spending Bill

by Countable | 3.22.18

What's the story?

  • Congress rejected much of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ school choice agenda in its spending bill.

  • Meanwhile, as Time announced in a headline: "President Trump Wanted $25 Billion for a Border Wall. Congress Gave Him a Fence Instead."

Devoid of DeVos

  • DeVos and Trump had proposed cutting the Education Department budget by $3.6 billion while funneling over $1 billion toward private school vouchers and other school choice options.

  • The administration also proposed slashing funds for the department’s Office for Civil Rights and federal work-study programs.

  • Congress’ spending bill, however, provides the department $3.9 billion in funding while calling for millions of additional funds for after-school programs.

  • "After almost a decade of virtually stagnant federal funding for education, Congress has produced a Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations package that provides real increases for education," Sheryl Cohen, the executive director of the nonprofit Committee for Education Funding, said in a statement. She added that the bill:

"is the first time in many years that Congress is addressing the need to support education."

Wall-less border wall

  • Initially, Trump had said Mexico would pay for his "big, beautiful wall." Later, he requested $25 billion to fund his passion project. In the end, as Time explained, “Congress is expected to approve just shy of $1.6 billion for border security, of which only $38 million can be spent on ‘border barrier planning and design.’”

  • The spending bill provides $445 million for the "replacement of existing primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border" and $196 million for the acquisition and deployment of “border security technology."

  • This led Trump to tweet:

What do you think?

Members of the Freedom Caucus are urging Trump to reject the omnibus. Should Trump refuse to sign a spending bill unless it provides funding for his wall? What about holding out for DeVos’ proposals? Is there anything else you think is missing from the spending package? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: stellalevi / iStock)

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