Juan Vargas and Elizabeth Warren
Juan Vargas with Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a gun-control march in Washington. Courtesy of the Congressman

Rep. Juan Vargas was the sole member of the San Diego Congressional delegation to vote against the $1.3 trillion federal omnibus spending bill on Thursday, citing the lack of permanent protection for the Dreamers.

“Republicans have decided to throw the American Dream under the omnibus by refusing to give us a vote on a permanent protection for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers,” said Vargas after the vote. “I will not support any funding bill that excludes protection for Dreamers and helps the Trump Administration separate families.”

All other local representatives, Democrats Susan Davis and Scott Peters, and Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted for the bill, which was then approved by the Senate early Friday morning.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, which appropriates federal spending for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 256-167.

Peters cited a $3 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, pay raises for troops, new gun safety measures, and $10 million to address sewage spills along the Tijuana River as his reasons for voting for the measure.

“The spending package passed today funds several critical priorities I’ve fought for since coming to Congress,” said Peters.

He said he objected to the lack of a permanent fix for the Dreamers, but “ultimately, I supported the overall spending package because of the many critical investments it makes in San Diego, in gun safety, and in our national defense.”

President Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the kept the Dreamers from being deported, but legal challenges have kept it operating, giving Congress more time for a permanent fix.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.