Officially known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, it is a $1.149 trillion, 2,009 page bill. It should have been an opportunity for conservatives to include key conservative measures. However, the Act lacks provisions for defunding executive action amnesties or defunding Planned Parenthood. It does not address sanctuary cities. It does not defund the Syrian refugee program. Instead it includes an ineffective rider tweaking the visa waiver program.
Liberals and the unions got a victory in a 2-year delay in the Obamacare Cadillac tax. The Cadillac tax is a tax on the most expensive employer-sponsored health care plans. Many union contracts include these plans. The act also permanently weakens the tax by making future payments of the Cadillac tax deductible as a business expense.
Many conservative riders were proposed but not adopted, such as a funding prohibition on the FCC from implementing net neutrality. Many conservative riders touted by the Appropriations Committee as concessions to conservatives are pre-existing riders which have survived thoughout Republican and Democrat control. Another rider, the lifting of the 4-decade ban on the export of unrefined crude oil, is good policy. However, it does not outweigh the bad riders.
To read more about this bill, see http://heritageaction.com/key-votes/no-on-1-1-trillion-year-end-omnibus-spending-bill/
Senator Tillis voted for the bill. Senator Burr voted against the bill. However, Senator Burr is up for re-election in 2016 and needs conservative votes. The bill passed in the Senate 65 to 33. His vote was not needed for passage.
Representative Ellmers voted for the bill, which passed 316 to 113.