- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2017

The spending deal congressional negotiators hammered out early Monday morning runs 1,665 pages, and spends $700 million per page — the cost of keeping the basic operations of the government running for a year.

President Trump and defense hawks within the Republican Party got a significant boost in defense spending out of the deal, while Democrats blocked most of the other items on the White House wish list, including preventing any money from being used for the border wall.

Mr. Trump did win a major boost in the number of detention beds to hold illegal immigrants awaiting deportation, and got a quick down payment on his deportation force with the addition of more immigration officers and fugitive operations teams.

Congress also added money to E-Verify, the electronic system to check the work eligibility of new hires, which is currently voluntary for most businesses, but which the Trump administration wants to make mandatory.

Democrats cheered what they were able to keep out of the bill.

“This bipartisan agreement eliminates more than 160 poison-pill riders that would have been devastating to the environment, put restrictions on consumer financial protections and attacked the Affordable Care Act,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Democrats also won a bailout of Puerto Rico’s flailing Medicaid system.

Republicans’ biggest win was adding $15 billion in defense money requested by Mr. Trump — though the additional money will be tacked onto the deficit, after Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill balked at the president’s proposed cuts to offset the money.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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