On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed a massive 1.5T dollars omnibus spending package to keep the federal government running and offer 13.6 Bn dollars in assistance for East European nations, including Ukraine, as the country strongly resisting for its survival against Russian assault.
The US House passed a massive $1.5T omnibus spending measure on Wednesday. It includes 13.6B dollars in urgently needed assistance to Ukrainians as the country is vigorously fighting for its survival against Russia’s unprovoked attack. pic.twitter.com/wdAlQmOcaJ
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The U.S. Congress is in a great hurry ahead of March 11 deadline when administration funding will expire, but stoppage isn’t likely, in part because numerous legislators are worried to demonstrate aid for Ukrainians amid Russia’s deadly incursion. As a portion of the attempt to avoid a government shutdown, the US House approved by voice vote late Wednesday a stopgap measure to continue funding the federal government through Tuesday.
The House passed a $1.5T spending package to keep the government open and provide $13.6B in Ukraine aid, while $15.6B for COVID-19 pandemic response fell by the wayside as the incumbent party worked hard to approve the lawmaking. The legislation’s defense part passed 361/69, while the US spending part approved 260/171, with one present ballot.
Furthermore, the omnibus government spending is the product of months of bipartisan dialogues, but the extensive legislative text, running 2741 pages, wasn’t released until around 01:30 AM (ET) on Wednesday, only hours ahead of House leaders primarily had intended to attempt to jam it through the House, leaving short time for policymakers to review the bill.
The Omnibus legislation now moves to the United States Senate. The massive spending legislation is the culmination of lengthy bilateral and bicameral discussions between top GOP and Democratic appropriators. In addition, the spending package details were released earlier in the day, before the March 11 deadline for the US governing body to approve the lawmaking to prevent a temporary stoppage of the federal government operations.
A clash over how to pay for the pandemic-related provisions prompted Nancy Pelosi to take away the COVID-19 funds from the package late Wednesday, an action she called heartbreaking. GOPs have asked for the $15.6B to be offset by cuts elsewhere, and Dems leaders reached an agreement to cover 50% of the cost by using leftover funds from the previous COVID-19 relief assistance. But that received objections from some members of the ruling party, who stated their states already had intentions to spend the money.
At the commencement of a news conference late Wednesday, the US House Speaker told the media that it had been quite a day. Moreover, she bristled at the briefing for focusing numerous questions on the internal purposeful legislative process, while Kyiv said Putin’s military forces bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
The omnibus spending legislation includes 730B dollars in non-defense investment, about a 6.7 percent increase over the FY-2021, which Senate Appropriations Committee head said is the biggest increase in 4-years. Moreover, it provides 782B dollars in defense spending, around 5.6 percent more than the recent year.
The 13.6B dollars in assistance to Ukrainian forces and people are more than 10B dollars the Biden administration asked from the U.S. Congress recent week to support Ukraine and Western partners at the back of Moscow’s unjustified attack. Over 6.5B dollars of the emergency aid is for the Department of Defense, while 3.9B dollars will go to the State Department for humanitarian aid.
Additionally, the U.S. Agency for International Development will also get about 2.8B dollars to offer assistance for susceptible populations in the East European region, including Ukraine, while the Commerce and Justice Departments will receive smaller amounts.
According to the United Nations, Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine has caused a rapidly-growing refugee crisis in the West since WWII, with over 2M people leaving the Ukrainian land for neighboring states. The ongoing war and the humanitarian catastrophe sparked bilateral calls for America to strengthen its support for Ukrainians.