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The government spending bill passed by Congress over the weekend has sparked controversy among both Republicans and Democrats due to several provisions included in the legislation. One of the most contentious issues is the ban on pride flags at U.S. embassies, which was included in the bill and has drawn criticism from LGBTQ+ advocates. Additionally, the bill does not include any additional funding for border security, which has left some far-right House Republicans unhappy with the allocation of funds for immigration-related initiatives.

As part of the spending bill, the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be shut down and replaced by the Office of Talent Management. This move has raised concerns about the government’s commitment to promoting diversity within Congress, as the non-partisan diversity office was created four years ago with the goal of increasing diversity and representation among congressional staff. The decision to shut down this office has sparked debate and criticism from various quarters.

Another controversial provision in the spending bill is the restriction on flying any flag other than the U.S. flag at U.S. State Department facilities. This provision reverses a 2021 authorization that allowed U.S. embassies to display LGBTQ+ pride flags, and has received pushback from advocates of LGBTQ+ rights. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, reportedly championed this provision and has faced backlash from members of his own party for agreeing to the overall package.

Critics of the government spending bill have raised concerns about the appropriations process being used to attack LGBTQ+ people and questioned the lack of funding for border security measures. The Human Rights Campaign criticized House Republicans for their stance on the flag provision, arguing that it targets the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, some Republicans, such as Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, have expressed frustration with the level of spending in the bill and the perceived lack of focus on border security issues.

The total cost of the government funding package is $1.2 trillion, with funding allocated for various government agencies and programs. The bill was supported by both the White House and congressional leaders, despite the controversy surrounding certain provisions. The bill was divided into two parts, with the first part passing a few weeks ago and the second part passing over the weekend. The funding provided by this bill will keep the government running until September 30, when Congress will need to go through a similar process to fund the government for the next fiscal year.

As the government spending bill made its way through Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia filed a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair, threatening to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson from his position. Greene’s reasoning for the motion was her dissatisfaction with Johnson’s support for the spending bill, which she viewed as aligning with the Democrats. This internal party conflict highlights the divisions within the Republican party over government spending and policy priorities.

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