House passes $1.7 trillion spending bill

The passage of the bill represents an act that ends Nancy Pelosi’s second term as speaker, and for the majority of Democrats, she returned to power in the 2018 election.

WASHINGTON — A $1.7 trillion spending bill that funds federal agencies through September and provides more aid to devastated Ukraine was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday. Lawmakers race to get their work done for the year and avoid a partial government shutdown.

The largely partisan passage of the bill, 225-201. It is now forwarded to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The passage of the bill represents the end of Representative Nancy Pelosi’s second term as Speaker of the House and, for the Democratic majority, her return to power in the 2018 election. Republicans will take control of the House next year and Representative Kevin McCarthy is campaigning to replace her.

He is soliciting support from staunch conservatives in his caucus, who have largely disregarded the size of the bill and the many priorities it contains. He spoke in a higher voice for about 25 minutes, criticizing the bill that spends too much and does too little to curb illegal immigration and the flow of fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border.

McCarthy said of the law: “This is a monstrosity, one of the most shameful acts I have ever seen in this body.

The speech drew a quick quip of Congressman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who said that “after hearing that, he clearly didn’t have the vote,” referring to McCarthy’s campaign to be a speaker. .

Pelosi said “we have a big bill here because we have a great need for the country,” then turned the focus to McCarthy:

“It’s sad to hear the minority leader say this legislation is the most shameful thing to be seen in the House of Representatives in this Congress,” Pelosi said. I can’t help but wonder, did he forget January 6th?”

Biden welcomed the bill’s passage, saying it was proof that Republicans and Democrats can work together and “I look forward to bipartisan progress over the next year.”

“This bill is good for our economy, our competitiveness, and our community – and I will sign it into law as soon as it reaches my desk,” Biden said.

The Senate passed the heavily defensive measure with substantial bipartisan support on Thursday, but the vote was more divided in the House. About 30 GOP lawmakers have promised to block any legislative preference coming from Republican senators who voted for the bill, and leadership has urged a no vote.

In the end, nine Republicans in the House of Representatives voted on the bill. Seven of them are leaving Congress. Only Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Steve Womack of Arkansas returned. The only Democrat to vote against the bill was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The bill, which is 4,155 pages long, does not include amendments added by the Senate. It contains about a 6% increase in spending on domestic initiatives, to $772.5 billion. Spending on defense programs will increase by about 10% to $858 billion.

The bill passed just hours before funding for federal agencies expired. Lawmakers have passed two contingency spending measures to keep the government running so far in this budget year, and a third measure is also set to pass on Friday to ensure the funds are met. Service continues until Biden can sign into law a full-year measure, known as a piece of legislation.

The massive bill includes 12 bills to allocate, aid to Ukraine and disaster relief for communities recovering from hurricanes, floods and wildfires. It also includes many of the policy changes that lawmakers worked to include in the final major bill being considered by the current Congress.

Lawmakers have provided about $45 billion to Ukraine and its NATO allies, more than Biden asked for, an admission that future funding rounds are not guaranteed to the new House of Representatives due to the GOP. leadership.

In a dramatic speech before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told lawmakers that aid is not charity, but an investment in security and the people. global owner.

Although aid to Ukraine has largely received bipartisan support, some House Republicans have criticized the effort, arguing that the money should be spent on priorities in the United States. than

“How can we send an extra $47 BILLION to Ukraine for security while terrorists, drugs and criminals flood our southern border?” tweeted Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.

“100 billion dollars for Ukraine. Let’s put that in perspective,” tweeted Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who included previous rounds of aid in his count. “That’s over $200 million this year from each congressional district. What can your congressman do for your district with $200 million?

McCarthy has warned that Republicans will not write a “blank check” to Ukraine in the next Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after Thursday’s vote that he had trouble understanding the concerns.

“I’m just confused by some right-wing Republicans who don’t want to help Ukraine,” Schumer said. “It’s always been like that, the tougher you are, the more anti-Soviet you are, but all of a sudden, they’re supportive. I hope it’s not a remnant of Trump.”

The Senate passed the funding package on Thursday by a vote of 68-29 but the Senate secretary’s office needed time to review the bill and include the amendments added that day. As a result, the bill was finally passed with half the chamber empty. More than 220 lawmakers sought the proxy voting option, and many raced out of town before risking canceling flights and spending Christmas in Washington.

Republicans have announced that repealing the practice of remote voting will be one of their first acts in next year’s majority election.

The funding bill also includes about $40 billion in emergency spending in the United States, primarily to assist communities around the country recover from droughts, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

And it has a ton of policy changes largely unrelated to spending that lawmakers have worked hard behind the scenes to put in place that would otherwise be starting from scratch next year in a new State. split, where Republicans would return to a majority in the House.

One of the most notable examples is the historic amendment to the federal election law intended to prevent any future president or presidential candidate from attempting to overturn an election.

The bipartisan review of the Voter Counting Act is a direct response to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to convince Republican lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to oppose the confirmation. Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021.

Among the spending increases, Democrats highlighted: a $500 increase in the maximum size of Pell grants for low-income college students, a $100 million increase in state block grants for states substance abuse prevention and treatment program, increased spending on VA health care by 22%, and $3.7 billion to provide emergency relief to farmers and ranchers impacted by natural disasters. ear, just to name a few.

The bill also provides about $15.3 billion for more than 7,200 projects that lawmakers have sought for their states and counties. Under the revised rules for crowdfunding projects, also known as dedicated funds, legislators must post their claims online and attest that they have no financial interest in the projects. However, many fiscal conservatives criticize the budget allocation as leading to unnecessary spending. House passes $1.7 trillion spending bill

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