On Friday, the House of Representatives enacted a $1.7 trillion budget bill to prevent the government from running out of money at midnight and provide an additional $45 billion to Ukraine. Joe Biden, Vice President, will soon have to sign the bill into law.
Nine Republicans voted for the bill: Representatives John Katko (NY), Chris Jacobs (NY), Liz Cheney (WY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Fred Upton (MI), Rodney Davis (IL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), and Steve Womack (AR). The final vote count was 225 to 201. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were among the Democrats who voted against the resolution.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer argued that passing the bill would demonstrate the “workability” of the United States government. In response to the skepticism expressed by some Republicans regarding continued high levels of funding to support Ukraine, he urged his colleagues to join him in voting “yes,” demonstrating to the world that the United States would never remain idle in the face of those who believe they can terrorize civilians, devour our territory, and commit more crimes with impunity.
Immediately following the bill’s passing, President Biden issued a statement praising its bipartisan support and promising to sign it into law “as soon as it hits my desk.” He stated, “This law is additional proof that Republicans and Democrats can come together to deliver for the American people,” and that he was looking forward to furthering bipartisan accomplishments in the coming year.
Later on Friday, Biden signed a short-term funding package into law, avoiding a government shutdown before the midnight deadline and allowing lawmakers on Capitol Hill enough time to have the spending bill processed and available for his signature sometime in the following days. Republican leaders in the House had urged their party’s members to vote down the measure.
It was considered a nearly empty chamber because so many Democrats had to rush home to vote on the final bill they would pass as the majority party before the Republican takeover on January 3. This was because so many had filed proxy letters, allowing them to vote from their homes ahead of the dangerous winter storms expected to disrupt travel just before the holidays.
Some Republicans in the House, including the current minority leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), had argued that the subject should be delayed until the next Congress takes office.
“That was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen done with a human body. The appropriations process duped the American people, and this was the final straw that put an end to the worst failure of a single-party government, “McCarthy said this Friday during a nearly 25-minute floor speech, notifying the body that he would be voting no.
He claimed the omnibus bill will spend “too much,” adding, “Why is the majority of Democrats not even here if it’s so good?”
At the end of his speech, he remarked, “Everything will be different in eleven days. We will restore the honor of this institution and its dedication to the people of the United States. Ultimately, the Democrat one-party tyranny will disgrace this institution one more time. There will soon be a change of pace. The Republicans will come through in eleven days.” In her final floor statement, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized McCarthy for his comments.
It was disappointing; she continued, to hear the Minority Leader earlier claim that this bill is the most disgraceful thing to be seen on the House floor in this Congress. I had to ask: “Has he completely forgotten about January 6?”
On Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed optimism that the bill would pass that evening before lawmakers began to leave for the Christmas break and the weather worsened. On Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, proposed a hurried timeline for approving the budget package.
According to Hoyer, the House vote was postponed until Friday morning to give representatives more time to review the comprehensive bill. Even yet, McCarthy said on Friday in the House chamber that members had little opportunity to read the text.
The vote came after the Senate rushed through 17 amendments, including successes and concessions from legislators on both sides of the aisle, to adopt a version of the massive spending plan at the last minute on Thursday.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a historical appeal to a joint session of Congress two days prior, asking for $45 billion in military, humanitarian, and secure funding that he insisted was not “charity” but rather an investment in the spread of democracy around the world.
The law is expected to pass the House of Representatives and make its way to President Joe Biden’s desk, despite opposition from sure Republicans. It extends funding for government agencies through September 30, 2023. “Nearly three-quarters of senators in the United States voted to take action. And they didn’t because every one of those senators regarded the bill as flawless while it was not. “It was Hoyer who remarked.
Reforms to the Electoral Count Act are included to prevent a repeat of the events of January 6 and attempts to overturn the 2020 election. There is a rise in the defense budget and wages for military and civilian federal employees.
Additional financing for COVID and an increased Child Tax Credit were not among the White House’s priorities that made it into the bill as passed by the Senate.
Title 42, a regulation from the pandemic era that permits the expulsion of migrants on public health grounds, expired this week despite legal challenges fought by Republicans against its reversal. The amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to keep Title 42 in place was omitted. Similarly unsuccessful was an amendment proposed by Senators Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Jon Tester (D-MT) to Title 42.
Nonetheless, in his speech on Friday, Biden praised the measure, stressing its promotion of cancer and other disease research through his ARPA-H initiative, investment in community policing, and increased money for the Violence Against Women Act.
The appropriations agreement, passed with broad support from both parties, “advances major priorities for our country and closes off a year of historic bipartisan success for the American people,” he added. “I appreciate all the hard effort put forth by Senator Leahy, Senator Shelby, and Chairwoman DeLauro. To be expected from any negotiation, neither party is fully satisfied in this arrangement.”
In addition, several other amendments were approved, including two that increase protections for pregnant and breastfeeding workers and a measure known as the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act, which fills a shortfall in the World Trade Center Healthcare Program’s first responder fund. Families of victims of terrorist attacks such as 9/11 and the Beirut Marine barracks bombing will get $2.7 billion in compensation thanks to the amendment, which extends funding for the program by five years.
Put your comments here if you liked this post. And remember to check back here, Journalistpr.com. for updates on the situation.