US House Passes USD 1.7 Trillion Spending Bill for Ukraine

24 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

US World

As lawmakers scramble to wrap up their work for the year and avert a partial government shutdown, the House on Friday (local time) approved a USD 1.7 trillion spending bill to increase help to a de...

As lawmakers scramble to wrap up their work for the year and avert a partial government shutdown, the House on Friday (local time) approved a USD 1.7 trillion spending bill to increase help to a devastated Ukraine.

225-201, primarily along partisan lines, the bill was approved. President Joe Biden will now sign the legislation into law. As of right now, government funding is scheduled to run out late Friday night, and lawmakers are reportedly working against the clock to pass the measure before the deadline.

To give ample time for the year-long bill to be officially processed and delivered to Biden, the Senate passed the legislation on Thursday along with a Bill to extend the timeframe by one week, to December 30.

Prior to the final vote on the larger funding bill on Friday, the House authorised a one-week delay.

On Capitol Hill, the mammoth spending measure known as an omnibus allocates USD 772.5 billion for domestic and non-defense programmes and USD 858 billion for defence spending.

According to sources, it includes approximately USD 40 billion to respond to natural disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding, as well as approximately USD 45 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine and NATO partners.

The Secure Act 2.0, a package designed to make it simpler to prepare for retirement, and a clause banning TikTok on government devices are among the provisions in the funding bill.

Prior to the House vote, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy criticised the US$1.7 trillion spending bill in a floor speech, according to sources.

“This thing is monstrous. The California Republican added, “The appropriations process has failed the American public, and there is no greater indication of the greatest failure of a one-party dominance of the House, the Senate, and the presidency of this measure here. It is one of the most disgusting deeds I have ever seen in this body.”

Later, when speaking in favour of the budget bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “I’m aiming to make this my shortest speech as speaker of the House on this floor,” according to sources.