US Congress Races to Pass $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill
U.S. congressional leaders have reached a deal on a $1.3 trillion spending bill as a budget deadline looms.
Lawmakers now have until midnight Friday to approve it and prevent the year's third government shutdown. Passage of the massive bipartisan effort seems certain.
The bill, which will keep the government funded until the end of September, has President Donald Trump's support, the White House said in a statement released Wednesday.
The bill will give Trump a huge budget increase for the military, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel.
It also provides $1.6 billion for physical barriers and 150 kilometers of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, short of the $25 billion Trump requested for the project he repeatedly touted on the campaign trail while pledging Mexico would pick up the cost.
"Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year...most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment," Trump said on Twitter.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said there was "plenty" of compromise in the spending package and that members of his party "feel very good."
Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks said that what the president called "giveaways" were investments in initiatives for military veterans, community health centers, transportation infrastructure and national security.
Facebook Founder: We Clearly Made a Mistake in Trying to Protect User Data
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a rare television interview Wednesday Facebook clearly made a mistake in its part in an illegal data collection scandal.
"This was a major breach of trust. I am really sorry this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data," he told CNN.
Zuckerberg did not elaborate on what mistake Facebook made, but he promised to check all apps and do a full forensic audit.
He also told CNN he is sure someone is trying to meddle in the upcoming November midterm U.S. congressional elections. He said Facebook is "really committed" to stop anyone from interfering in the elections through Facebook, including upcoming votes in Brazil and India.
Facebook disclosed Friday that it has known since 2015 that British researcher Aleksandr Kogan illegally shared users' information with a research firm, after collecting that data legally through an application for a personality quiz.
The research firm is alleged to have illegally used the data of an estimated 50 million Facebook users to build profiles for U.S. political campaigns, including the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Facebook has been criticized for failing to alert its users to the incident in 2015. Wednesday was the first time Zuckerberg publicly addressed the issue.