President Biden Signs Bill: A $1.7 trillion spending plan was signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday. It will fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year in September 2023 and give Ukraine extra aid worth tens of billions of dollars to help it battle the Russian military.
To prevent a partial government shutdown, Biden has until late Friday to approve the legislation. Just before Christmas, the bill was approved by the Democratically-controlled House 225-201, primarily along partisan lines. The Senate, also governed by Democrats, voted 68-29 to pass the bill with much more Republican backing the day before the House vote. The passage, according to Biden, is evidence that Democrats and Republicans can cooperate.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans who aspires to become speaker when the new Congress convenes on January 3, argued during floor discussion that the bill spends excessive amounts of money while making insufficient efforts to stop fentanyl imports from Mexico and illegal immigration. McCarthy described the law as “an abomination” and “one of the most disgraceful deeds I’ve ever seen in this body.”
Strong conservatives in the GOP caucus, who have mostly criticized the package for its breadth and scope, are urged to back it by McCarthy. Come January 3, Republicans will hold a slim House majority, and some conservative lawmakers have promised not to support McCarthy as speaker.
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The financing package includes an increase of $772.5 billion, or almost 6%, in domestic initiative spending. Defense program spending will rise by nearly 10% to $858 billion.
The passage was achieved a few hours before federal agency funding was supposed to expire. Lawmakers had already approved two short-term budget bills to keep the government running, and a third, funding the government through December 30, was passed last Friday. Biden signed it to ensure that services would continue until Congress delivered him the full-year bill, sometimes known as an omnibus bill.
Twelve appropriations bills, help to Ukraine, and disaster relief for areas suffering from natural catastrophes are all included in the enormous bill, which has a total page count of more than 4,000. Additionally, it contains numerous policy modifications that legislators worked hard to incorporate into the final big bill that Congress debated during that session.
More than even Biden had asked for, lawmakers gave Ukraine and NATO allies almost $45 billion, acknowledging that future financing rounds may not be assured after Republicans take control of the House next week due to the party’s victories in the midterm elections.
Although there has been substantial bipartisan support for help to Ukraine, some House Republicans have opposed the spending, claiming that the funds would be better used for American interests. Republicans, according to McCarthy, won’t ever again “sign a blank check” for Ukraine.
A $40 billion emergency fund is also included in the measure, primarily to aid towns around the country as they recover from hurricanes, droughts, and other natural catastrophes.
Image Source: nbcnews
The White House claimed to have received the measure from Congress late Wednesday afternoon. White House personnel flew it on a regular commercial trip to Biden for his signature.
Biden signed the legislation on Thursday in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he is vacationing with his wife Jill and other family members on the island of St. Croix. According to the White House, the Bidens stay with friends Bill and Connie Neville’s House. The Associated Press sells ENPS, a news production software system made by US Viking, owned by Bill Neville.
Numerous other policy changes that are mainly unrelated to spending are also included in the package. However, lawmakers labored arduously behind the scenes to have these changes included in the legislation, which was the last piece of legislation to emerge from that Congress. Otherwise, politicians pushing for these changes would have had to start over in a politically divided Congress where Democrats would still hold the majority in the Senate and Republicans would take back control of the House.
One of the most illustrative instances was a historic change to federal election legislation to stop a potential president or presidential candidate from trying to rig a vote.
Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress.
It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine.
Looking forward to more in 2023. pic.twitter.com/KTI1R9qMij
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 29, 2022
The Electoral Count Act was overhauled on a bipartisan basis in response to then-President Donald Trump’s attempts to convince Republican legislators and Vice President Mike Pence to protest the certification of Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021, the day of the Trump-inspired uprising at the Capitol.
Democrats highlighted many spending increases, including a $500 increase in the maximum Pell grant amount for low-income college students, an increase of $100 million in block grants to states for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, an increase of 22% in spending on veterans’ medical care, and an increase of $3.7 billion in emergency aid for farmers and ranchers affected by natural disasters.
More than 7,200 projects that members requested for their home states and districts are also funded by the bill, which amounts to about $15.3 billion. Legislators must now request online earmarks, often known as community project financing, and certify they have no financial stake in the initiatives. Many economic conservatives still criticize the earmarking as encouraging wasteful spending. For more information, please visit Digitalnewsexpert.com.