Republicans and Democrats sparred over which party emerged victorious from the $1.3 trillion spending bill fight, but the real winners are thousands of interest groups — including wealthy foreign investors, striped bass fishing enthusiasts and cranberry researchers — to whom the bill doles out some serious assistance.
Medical marijuana advocates maintained key protections for states that allow medicinal use, while researchers cheered a massive new infusion of cash in government-sponsored research and development. Space enthusiasts were ecstatic over the biggest boost for NASA in a decade.
Lawmakers representing farm-heavy states secured a provision to maintain exemptions for certain emissions from animal manure from government reporting requirements.
And animal welfare advocates cheered the bill’s de facto ban on horse-meat processing plants in the U.S.
“We’re pleased that Congress has chosen to stand with the 80 percent of Americans who want America’s horses to be protected, not brutally slaughtered,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign.