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Five highlights from the $1.7 trillion spending bill that just passed Congress

This week, Congress introduced and quickly passed a sweeping comprehensive package of $1.7 trillion to fund the government through September 2023.

The Senate passed the measure on Thursday by a vote of 68-29, and the House of Representatives on Friday passed it 225-201-1.

It now heads to the White House, where President Biden is expected to approve the funding measure.

Below are five highlights from the 4,000-page bill:

Defense and non-defense costs

The total put roughly $773 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, compared to $858 billion in defense funding.

Negotiators say the defense funding base has increased by about 10 percent, while the non-defense base has roughly doubled, excluding veterans funding, which Democrats have previously pushed for in its own category in spending negotiations.

Republicans backing the package say the bill touted the gap as a reining in domestic spending by Democrats while bolstering defense operations at rates higher than the rate of inflation, which hit an annual rate of 7.1 percent last month.

“The world’s largest military will receive a much-needed funding boost ahead of inflation. Meanwhile, non-defense and non-veterans spending will be less than the rate of inflation, which means a reduction in real dollars,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

Ukraine

Congress authorized $45 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine nearly a year after Russia invaded the country.

This includes about $19.8 billion for arms and equipment for Ukraine and its European allies, $12.9 billion for economic aid and $6.2 billion for the Defense Department.

Last month, the White House asked Congress for additional $37.7 billion in aid to Ukraine. The jump in funding comes as some conservatives have become critical of the aid, raising concerns about how the funding will fare in a divided Congress next year.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a historic speech to Congress, becoming the first foreign leader to speak in wartime Congress since 1941, when Winston Churchill came to the nation’s capital.

During the speech, Zelensky thanked the United States for the help provided so far, but also asked for further help to fight off Russia’s continued attacks.

“Your money is not charity,” Zelensky said. “This is an investment in global security and democracy that we treat in the most responsible way.”

Law on Counting of Elections

The Election Counting Reform Act is also included in the bill.

The measure would reform the Election Counting Act of 1887 to clarify that the vice president cannot overturn the results of an election when Congress counts Electoral College votes and increases the number of members needed to challenge state electors.

The law was drafted in response to the events of January 6, 2021, when then-President Trump called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory.

Eighteen Republican senators voted with Democrats to pass the bill as part of a larger funding package, seen as a notable rebuke to the former president, who had advocated keeping the 1887 act intact.

Other GOP senators who voted against the overall package also supported vote-counting reforms, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who supported the bill in the comments before voting.

“In 2021, the theatrics went too far and ended with a crowd disrupting a joint session of Congress to confirm the presidential election,” Paul wrote in The Louisville Courier-Journal, calling it necessary legislation to protect the Electoral College. .

Health care and government programs

Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged that the bill does not provide as much funding for domestic programs as they wanted in their last best chance to shape state funding while they still hold control of both chambers.

But the party also celebrated several victories.

The list of health and research investments includes $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and $950 million for the Office of Advanced Biomedical Research and Development.

Democrats also noted a $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a $28.5 billion increase for child nutrition programs, new Section 8 housing choice vouchers that they say will support more than 11,000 additional low-income families, as well as increasing the maximum Pell Grant award.

“While we are making important investments in these bills, they are not perfect. I wish we could do a lot more, including increasing funding for Title X and other family planning programs after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” said House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn. ). in a statement late Thursday.

“However, this bill is a bipartisan compromise,” she added. “We have proven that we can and must continue to work together for the benefit of hardworking people everywhere. I am proud of this bill and urge all my colleagues to support it.”

Applications

The Senate passed several at the last minute settings to the bill Thursday as they considered a series of amendments during a marathon voting session before final passage.

The eight amendments passed include proposals to direct proceeds from assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs to aid Ukraine, a measure to strengthen protections for breastfeeding workers and another measure to compensate victims September 11.

Congress also approved an amendment to continue the pay and benefits of Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis. In accordance with Deseret Newshis salary was cut while serving a three-year sentence in a Japanese prison after a car accident that killed two citizens.

The omnibus also included legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that seeks to ban the use of TikTok on government phones and devices. However, the bill was already included in the package before the vote on Thursday afternoon.

The TikTok bill was added after the Senate unanimously approved the bill earlier this month, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently expressed support for the legislation.

Mike Lillis contributed.

Reported by Source link

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Five highlights from the $1.7 trillion spending bill that just passed Congress

This week, Congress introduced and quickly passed a sweeping comprehensive package of $1.7 trillion to fund the government through September 2023.

The Senate passed the measure on Thursday by a vote of 68-29, and the House of Representatives on Friday passed it 225-201-1.

It now heads to the White House, where President Biden is expected to approve the funding measure.

Below are five highlights from the 4,000-page bill:

Defense and non-defense costs

The total put roughly $773 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, compared to $858 billion in defense funding.

Negotiators say the defense funding base has increased by about 10 percent, while the non-defense base has roughly doubled, excluding veterans funding, which Democrats have previously pushed for in its own category in spending negotiations.

Republicans backing the package say the bill touted the gap as a reining in domestic spending by Democrats while bolstering defense operations at rates higher than the rate of inflation, which hit an annual rate of 7.1 percent last month.

“The world’s largest military will receive a much-needed funding boost ahead of inflation. Meanwhile, non-defense and non-veterans spending will be less than the rate of inflation, which means a reduction in real dollars,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

Ukraine

Congress authorized $45 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine nearly a year after Russia invaded the country.

This includes about $19.8 billion for arms and equipment for Ukraine and its European allies, $12.9 billion for economic aid and $6.2 billion for the Defense Department.

Last month, the White House asked Congress for additional $37.7 billion in aid to Ukraine. The jump in funding comes as some conservatives have become critical of the aid, raising concerns about how the funding will fare in a divided Congress next year.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a historic speech to Congress, becoming the first foreign leader to speak in wartime Congress since 1941, when Winston Churchill came to the nation’s capital.

During the speech, Zelensky thanked the United States for the help provided so far, but also asked for further help to fight off Russia’s continued attacks.

“Your money is not charity,” Zelensky said. “This is an investment in global security and democracy that we treat in the most responsible way.”

Law on Counting of Elections

The Election Counting Reform Act is also included in the bill.

The measure would reform the Election Counting Act of 1887 to clarify that the vice president cannot overturn the results of an election when Congress counts Electoral College votes and increases the number of members needed to challenge state electors.

The law was drafted in response to the events of January 6, 2021, when then-President Trump called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory.

Eighteen Republican senators voted with Democrats to pass the bill as part of a larger funding package, seen as a notable rebuke to the former president, who had advocated keeping the 1887 act intact.

Other GOP senators who voted against the overall package also supported vote-counting reforms, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who supported the bill in the comments before voting.

“In 2021, the theatrics went too far and ended with a crowd disrupting a joint session of Congress to confirm the presidential election,” Paul wrote in The Louisville Courier-Journal, calling it necessary legislation to protect the Electoral College. .

Health care and government programs

Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged that the bill does not provide as much funding for domestic programs as they wanted in their last best chance to shape state funding while they still hold control of both chambers.

But the party also celebrated several victories.

The list of health and research investments includes $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and $950 million for the Office of Advanced Biomedical Research and Development.

Democrats also noted a $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a $28.5 billion increase for child nutrition programs, new Section 8 housing choice vouchers that they say will support more than 11,000 additional low-income families, as well as increasing the maximum Pell Grant award.

“While we are making important investments in these bills, they are not perfect. I wish we could do a lot more, including increasing funding for Title X and other family planning programs after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” said House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn. ). in a statement late Thursday.

“However, this bill is a bipartisan compromise,” she added. “We have proven that we can and must continue to work together for the benefit of hardworking people everywhere. I am proud of this bill and urge all my colleagues to support it.”

Applications

The Senate passed several at the last minute settings to the bill Thursday as they considered a series of amendments during a marathon voting session before final passage.

The eight amendments passed include proposals to direct proceeds from assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs to aid Ukraine, a measure to strengthen protections for breastfeeding workers and another measure to compensate victims September 11.

Congress also approved an amendment to continue the pay and benefits of Navy Lt. Ridge Alkonis. In accordance with Deseret Newshis salary was cut while serving a three-year sentence in a Japanese prison after a car accident that killed two citizens.

The omnibus also included legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that seeks to ban the use of TikTok on government phones and devices. However, the bill was already included in the package before the vote on Thursday afternoon.

The TikTok bill was added after the Senate unanimously approved the bill earlier this month, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently expressed support for the legislation.

Mike Lillis contributed.

Reported by Source link

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Most Popular