The Latest: House passes $788B bill for military, wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the House’s $788 billion spending measure (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The House has passed a $788 billion spending bill that combines a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall with Mexico with a whopping budget increase for the Pentagon.

The 235-192 vote both eases a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and gives Trump and his House GOP allies political wins heading into the August recess. Significant hurdles remain in front of the measure, which will meet with more powerful Democratic opposition in the Senate.

A potential government shutdown battle over the U.S.-Mexico wall looms this fall. The generous defense spending increases also run afoul of strict spending limits set by an earlier budget law.

For now, however, Republicans controlling the House cheered the measure’s help for military readiness and generous increases for veterans.

___

2:30 p.m.

The Republican-led House has voted to make a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The vote was 230-196. Republican leaders avoided voting directly on the divisive issue Thursday. Instead, they tucked the wall provision into a broader procedural vote.

Trump promised at nearly every rally and campaign event that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico said no, and U.S. taxpayers will have to provide the money.

Democrats said they might have defeated the wall if they’d been given a chance. It’s unpopular with more moderate Republicans and those representing districts with large immigrant communities.

Money for the wall is part of a broader $788 billion spending bill funding defense and veterans programs.

___

12:38 p.m.

The GOP-controlled House is plowing ahead on legislation to give the Pentagon a massive spending boost.

It would also deliver a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s oft-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In advancing the huge $788 billion bill, Republicans are trying to both ease a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and give both themselves and Trump political wins heading into the August recess.

Trump is pushing for a sweeping increase for the Pentagon and commensurate cuts of more than $50 billion, or 10 percent, from domestic agencies and foreign aid. House Republicans are responding by adding even more for defense but have significantly scaled back Trump’s cuts to domestic programs like community development grants and medical research.