Senate Passes: The Senate adopted a $1.7 trillion government spending package on Thursday, sending it to the House, which is anticipated to pass before a Friday night deadline to prevent a partial federal government shutdown.
68 people voted in favor and 29 against it in the end.
According to a summary published earlier this week by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the 4,155-page package will allocate $858 billion for defense expenditures and $772.5 billion for nondefense discretionary programs. The numbers show a rise of around 5% in nondefense spending and an increase of 8% in spending on defense and Pentagon initiatives.
Additionally, $44.9 billion in military, humanitarian and economical help for Ukraine is included in the law. The sum consists of money for further aid to NATO partners and funds to restock Pentagon arsenals with weapons that the United States transferred to Ukraine.
The Senate’s vote happened the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Washington and spoke before a unique joint session of Congress, making history. He pleaded with lawmakers to continue funding his nation’s “fight for independence” against invading Russian forces while wearing military fatigues and boots.
The package also offers $40 billion in new financing for states and tribal reservations to aid communities around the country in recovering from natural disasters like wildfires and large hurricanes, in addition to the support for Ukraine.
Additionally, it updates the federal Electoral Count Act, passed in 1887 and was the target of a campaign by former President Donald Trump and his allies to have the results of the 2020 election, which Trump lost, annulled.
With no authority to overturn an election’s certified results, the revisions make clear that the vice president’s role in approving state electoral tallies will be strictly ceremonial.
Trump urged Mike Pence, vice president, to reject certifying the electoral votes for Joe Biden as president in 2020. Pence stood his ground during the certification procedure on January 6, 2021, making him a target of the pro-Trump protesters who assaulted the Capitol that day.
There was bipartisan support for funding the government in the Senate. Republicans went over their party’s lines to support the legislation many thoughts had to pass.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was one of them and urged his party to support the legislation. It was “imperfect yet strong,” he said.
On the Senate floor on Wednesday, McConnell declared, “We would have handled the appropriations process differently from top to bottom if Senate Republicans controlled this body.”
“But given the reality of where we stand today, senators have two options this week: We will either give our armed forces the resources and certainty that they need, or we will deny it to them,” he said.
If the bill passes the House, it will be another critical bipartisan victory for Biden, who has had success in the legislature in the previous year on bills that received backing from both the Republican and Democratic parties. The CHIPS and Science Act, the infrastructure measure, and the Respect for Marriage Act were a few of the most notable.
While Democrats still hold control of the House and Senate, passing the federal budget agreement now will ensure that government funding levels are set in stone. There is a fair probability that the plan would be tabled until the new year, when Republicans will be in control of the House if either the Senate or the House fails to advance it. Keep yourself updated with all the latest news from our website Newswatchlist.com and get all the recent updates.