A partial government shutdown is most likely avoided thanks to the nearly $1.7 trillion (£1.4tn) spending bill passed by the US Congress.
image via gephardtdaily.com
By a vote of 225 to 201, the House of Representatives approved the legislation on Friday afternoon.
President Joe Biden will now sign the legislation before midnight.
The package will keep the US government operating through September 30th of the upcoming fiscal year. In a bipartisan vote, it was approved by the Senate on Thursday with a vote of 68 to 29.
The 4,155-page budget includes
- Funding for domestic priorities as well as measures to support US defense and Ukraine.
- The bumper package includes $858 billion for defense and $772 billion for domestic programs.
- It includes about $38 billion for regions rebuilding after natural disasters and almost $45 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine.
- The legislation also includes adjustments to retirement plans and healthcare for Americans with low incomes.
In addition to the additional provisions made to the omnibus legislation, here are some additional ways the government intends to spend tax money in the upcoming year.
Support for Ukraine:
Included in the $45 billion for Ukraine are funds for both military and humanitarian aid from NATO allies.
Electoral count act reforms:
Reforms to the Electoral Count Act are part of the spending package and were implemented in response to the Capitol riots on January 6. It would make it more clear how the US vice president counts and confirms Electoral College votes. Former President Donald Trump incorrectly asserted that his vice president had the authority to reverse their defeat in the 2020 election.
The bill includes a proposal to outlaw the download of the app on government-owned phones and other digital devices due to national security concerns. The app is owned by its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
The legislation does away with a Covid-era provision that loosened the requirements for eligibility for Medicaid, which provides healthcare for low-income Americans. Now, millions of people may lose their health insurance in the upcoming spring.
The bill included a change known as the “Pump Act.” It broadens legislation that provides protections for new parents who must pump or breastfeed at work. Pregnant employees are guaranteed reasonable accommodations at work thanks to a second amendment.
New regulations for lobster fisheries that are intended to prevent the endangered right whale from becoming entangled in fishing gear are postponed by six years under a clause in the package.
With language in the bill allowing for additional consultation on potential sites, a protracted dispute between the states of Maryland and Virginia over where to relocate the current Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters – currently in Washington, DC – is postponed.
Pay rise for troops:
4.6% more money for the troops Military personnel will receive an increase in pay.
Support for Capitol Police:
The budget for the congressional police service will increase by $132 million, bringing it to a total of $734.5 million.
Security for senators:
Sensible security has been approved for senators after rising threats to US lawmakers in recent years. The money will be used to bolster security at senators’ homes.
Congress intends to raise the maximum Pell Grant award by $500 to $7,395, increasing the annual funding for low-income undergraduates.
The funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which aids low-income families in paying for childcare, has increased by 30% to $8 billion.
Protection of the environment:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget has increased by $576 million from the previous year.
The bottom line:
image via WKYT
Several Republican lawmakers have voiced their displeasure at the size of the package and at being asked to vote on a massive bill with little time to read it.
It is anticipated to be the final significant legislation passed by the current Congress before the House is taken over by the Republicans in January following the midterm elections in November.
The Senate passed a stopgap federal spending bill last week, extending the 17 December funding deadline to 23 December and giving lawmakers more time to negotiate a more comprehensive package.
That package, which had been in the works for months, was unveiled by House and Republican negotiators on Tuesday morning.
By increasing funding from roughly $1.5 trillion in the previous fiscal year, the “omnibus spending bill”
A shutdown happens when parts of the government close because politicians fail to agree on a budget. The political game of brinksmanship has become a feature of US politics in recent decades.
Under the US system, the different branches of government have to reach an agreement on spending plans before they can become law.