The Senate on Thursday voted to pass a massive $1.7 trillion government spending bill that would fund major government activities across federal agencies and provide emergency aid and disaster relief to Ukraine. The House of Representatives must pass the next bill as Congress races the clock to avoid a weekend shutdown.
A Capitol shutdown is expected to be avoided, but with federal funding set to expire at the end of Friday, there is little room for error for congressional leaders. It will be sent to President Joe Biden for enactment. The final vote in the Senate was 68 to 29 for him. The Senate on Thursday afternoon extended the government funding deadline by one week to Dec. 30 to give the year-old bill enough time to be formally processed and sent to Biden within the next week. A vote was taken to approve a bill to extend until
The House will approve his one-week extension and vote on a year-long appropriations bill on Friday.
Senators made a breakthrough in negotiations on Thursday morning after a huge government funding bill stalled for days over a Republican amendment related to Title 42, the Trump-era immigration policy.
Republican Senator Mike Lee (Utah) voted on his amendment to maintain an immigration policy that allows immigrants to turn back at the border to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which is strongly supported by Republicans. insisted on calling Because Lee’s bill is set on a simple majority standard, some centrist Democrats support extending the policy, rather than it being passed and added to the fiscal bill. There was some concern about whether it would be possible, but it was later defeated by the House of Representatives.
Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona crafted an amendment to provide moderates with an alternate path to vote in favour of extending Title 42, which the administration and the majority of Democrats want to do away with.
Centrist senators like Tester, Sinema, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who might have voted for the GOP amendment, can now back the opposing Democratic motion, demonstrating their support for the policy and averting a contentious political decision. Both amendments did not pass, as was to be expected. 47–50 against, Lee’s amendment to keep the current immigration law in place was defeated. Sinema-Democratic Tester’s alternative was defeated 10-87.
Senate leaders unveiled a $1.7 trillion annual funding bill early Tuesday morning. It is the result of lengthy negotiations between top Democrats and Republicans in Congress. The Senate was the first to vote to approve the deal this week and then hoped to send it to the House for approval before state funding expires on December 23.
Known as the Capitol Omnibus, the 2023 mega spending bill estimates $772.5 billion for non-defense domestic programs and $858 billion for the defense budget. This includes about $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and its NATO allies, and about $40 billion in response to natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods.
Other key provisions of the bill include an overhaul of his 1887 Election Counting Act, intended to make it more difficult to overturn a finalized presidential election. Remain in power despite defeat in 2020. The appropriations bill also includes Secure Act 2.0, a package that makes retirement savings easier, and measures to ban TikTok from government devices.
At roughly 1:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the legislative language of the package, which has more than 4,000 pages, was released, giving rank-and-file members and the public little time to evaluate its contents before Congress plans to vote to enact it.
In recent years, it has become standard practice on Capitol Hill to announce substantial budget proposals at the last minute and then proceeds to ram them through both chambers. This is because of the polarising political climate, which frequently prevents bipartisan action without extreme time pressure. This has prompted criticism from some MPs who claim the procedure is hurried, secretive, and lacks the transparency it ought.