President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.4 trillion spending bill that will delay the possibility of a government shutdown until fall 2020. The new bill also raises the age to raises the national minimum age for tobacco products to 21, the package includes a 3.1% average federal pay raise for the civilian workforce, give money for gun violence and to establish the Air Force’s new branch called Space Force.
In the wake of the impeachment vote by the House of Represitives, President Trump gave his cooperation to avoid a government shut down. Trump has secured $1.4 billion for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, it was $8.6 billion less than Trump requested which caused the longest government shut down in the United States history earlier this year.
President Trump proudly stated during the signing that the “Space Force will now be officially the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces,” and that it was “something really incredible.”
General John Raymond, Commander, U.S. Space Command will be in charge of the Space Force. Gen. Raymond was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force in 1984. During his military career, he has received two Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Superior Service Medal and two Legion of Merit awards.
The U.S. Space Command bases will be located based in California and Colorado. They will be responsible for military commanders with space service and will focus on protecting satellites in space. The Space Force has 16,000 active-duty airmen and civilians for now.
Under one of the provisions of the spending bill, it will be a violation of federal law to sell any tobacco products or vaping related products to any under the age of 21. According to the New England Journal of Medicine(NEJM), there as been an increase in 2019 to vaping related illnesses and acute lung injuries. NEJM has found evidence of vitamin E acetate in the lungs of 48 of the 51 people who have died as a result of vaping.
$25 million was also set aside to research gun violence, that has plagued the United States. According to the Gun Violence Archive, who tracks shootings in the United States they report that there are 1.22 mass shootings per day. A mass shooting is defined as four or more victims are killed and does not include injuries to surviving victims.
It has been 20 years since funds have been available for research in gun violence. The $25 million will be split between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey helped secure the funding for the research.
President Trump acknowledged all federal workers in a letter on Twitter. The president thanked all federal workers for all the hard work they have done. He also stated that he had kept his promise to “deliver paid family leave,” which allows for “12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal workers.”
To Our Incredible Federal Workforce: pic.twitter.com/zIyXW834H5
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2019