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President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday that will prevent a government shutdown without the funding cuts to the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal clean energy programs his administration had been seeking.
"There are a lot of things I'm unhappy about in this bill, there are a lot of things that we shouldn't have had in this bill, but we were in a sense forced if we want to build our military," Trump said regarding the signing.
The spending bill even increased funding to certain renewable energy programs.
"I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again," Trump reiterated.
The bill was put together very quickly, without giving lawmakers adequate time to look over its contents. Trump asked Congress to allow him a “line item veto” in the future, and suggested the Senate remove the filibuster rule and make 51 votes the measure of bill’s success.
Trump’s notorious border wall was also not fully funded.
The EPA’s budget stayed the same in size, despite the White House’s effort to cut it by 31 percent. The agency will also get another $760 million for water infrastructure management.
The DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy was slated to be cut by 65 percent, according to the president's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget request. Instead, the spending package increases the office's budget by 14 percent to $2.32 billion.
Trump had proposed a 25-cent gas tax hike several times during a closed-door meeting in February, but it’s unclear if Americans should expect their gasoline bills to rise. Before the meeting, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners – both Koch-funded groups – had announced their opposition to the tax hike, which would have funded $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…