The President of the United States, Joe Biden, signed a $1.7 trillion spending bill on Thursday. The spending bill will maintain the federal government’s operational status until September 2023, while providing Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in new aid to fight Russian military aggression. To avoid a partial government shutdown, Biden had until late Friday afternoon to sign the bill.
In addition to providing $1.7 trillion in new aid to Ukraine for its fight against the Russian military, Joe Biden signed on Thursday a spending bill that will keep the federal government operating through September 2023 and will allow for the extension of the federal budget year pic.twitter.com/rxzYe7jGJV
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) December 30, 2022
Prior to Christmas, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed Bill 225–201 on mostly party lines. In the Senate, which is also led by Democrats, the bill passed with significant support from Republicans (68-29) the day after its passage by the House. During his remarks at the time, President Biden cited the passage as an example of Republican-Democrat collaboration.
In a floor debate on January 3, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, argued that the bill is too expensive and does not curtail illegal immigration or fentanyl flows into the United States from Mexico. McCarthy hopes to become a speaker of the House of Representatives when the new session of Congress begins on January 3. “I have never witnessed anything more despicable in this chamber than this legislation,” McCarthy said.
Conservative Republicans are under pressure from the Republican caucus due to the bill’s size and scope. Several conservative GOP members have pledged not to vote for McCarthy to be speaker if they have a slim majority in the House come January 3. Approximately 6% of the funding bill is devoted to domestic initiatives, bringing the total to $772.5 billion. An increase of about 10% is projected for defense spending, reaching $858 billion.
Last-minute Bill Passage
The passage of the bill was achieved hours prior to the expiration of funding for federal agencies. Last Friday, Congress approved a third measure, which funds the government through December 30, in addition to the two short-term spending measures already approved by Congress. Upon signing it, President Biden ensured that services would be maintained until the full-year legislation, referred to as an “omnibus bill,” could be sent to him by Congress.
A total of 4,000 pages were included in the bill, which included 12 appropriations bills, aid to Ukraine, and disaster relief for regions affected by natural disasters. Additionally, the final major bill discussed by that session of Congress includes scores of policy changes that lawmakers sought to incorporate. Following their gains in the midterm elections, the Republicans took control of the House the following week.
They allocated roughly $45 billion to Ukraine and its NATO allies, more than Biden requested while acknowledging that future funding rounds may not be guaranteed. Some House Republicans, however, oppose the spending, arguing it would be better spent on US priorities. Support for Ukraine aid has been predominantly bipartisan, but some Republicans have opposed the spending. In the future, McCarthy stated that the Republican Party will not write a blank check to Ukraine.
Historic Revisions to Federal Election Law
A total of $40 billion is also included in this bill for emergency spending, mostly to assist communities across the United States in the aftermath of natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, and floods. Having spent the past few days in the US Virgin Islands with his wife, Jill, and other family members, President Biden signed the bill on Thursday. White House officials announced that President Biden and his wife were staying at the home of friends Bill and Connie Neville.
The Associated Press sells the ENPS software system that was developed by US Viking, owned by Bill Neville. In addition to spending changes, lawmakers worked quickly behind the scenes to get scores of policy changes included in the legislation, which was the last piece of legislation that came out of that session. Unless these changes are adopted, lawmakers who sponsored them would have been forced to begin from scratch next year, when Republicans will be returning to the majority in the House and Democrats will remain in control of the Senate.
Historically, former presidents and presidential candidates have revised federal election laws to prevent a future president or presidential candidate from overturning an election. After Donald Trump attempted to convince Republican lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to object to Biden’s victory certification on January 6, 2021, the day of the insurrection inspired by Trump at the Capitol, Biden’s victory was certified on that date.
Relief Package Details
Among the increases emphasized by Democratic members were a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for students from low-income families, $100 million in block grants for substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, a 22% increase in vet care expenditures, and a $3.7 billion farm and ranch relief package. More than 7,200 projects that legislators advocated for in their home states and districts are included in the bill.
It provides approximately $15.3 billion. New rules for funding community projects, also known as earmarks, require that legislators publish their requests online and certify they have no financial interest in the projects in question. Yet, earmarking is criticized by many fiscal conservatives as the source of unnecessary expenditures.
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