Sen. Jeff Flake says he cannot support $1.3T government spending bill

Mar 22, 2018, 9:39 PM | Updated: 9:45 pm
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., waits for a subway ride back to the Capitol after he and a bipartisan gro...

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., waits for a subway ride back to the Capitol after he and a bipartisan group of moderate senators met privately on Day 2 of the federal shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PHOENIX — As the U.S. Senate moved to pass a $1.3 trillion government spending bill late Thursday night, one Arizona senator took to social media to express his frustration with the legislation.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) lambasted the bill as something that “continues Congress’ pattern of fiscal irresponsibility.”

Flake said in a tweet, “At a time when our national debt has surpassed $20 trillion, we have to get serious about reining in our debt and addressing out-of-control spending. I can’t support this omnibus.”

The Arizona senator’s comments came just before the Senate gave final passage to the bipartisan legislation with a 65-32 vote. The House approved it 256-167 hours earlier.

But the senator was not the only Arizona Republican who was unhappy with the bill: Both Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar also criticized it on Thursday.

Biggs said the bill was a “Christmas tree with a present for everybody, except for conservatives and the taxpayers of this country,” while Gosar called it a “piece of crap.”

The legislation will give President Donald Trump just a nibble of the money he wanted to build his wall with Mexico.

Trump initially promised Mexico would pay to construct his “big, beautiful wall.” That country has refused, and Trump has sought $25 billion for the project and other border security efforts.

This bill provided only $1.6 billion for a year’s work.

The president was expected to sign the legislation before Saturday.

Had Congress not approved the bill by midnight Friday night, there would have been a government shutdown for the third time this election year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Sen. Jeff Flake says he cannot support $1.3T government spending bill