The House on Friday approved a huge $1.7 trillion funding packageCapping a chaotic week, as party leaders scrambled to avoid shutdowns and intensifying winter storms just days before Christmas.
It passed by a 225-201 vote with one Democrat, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), voting present. Nine Republicans, most of whom are leaving after this Congress, voted for the bill, while one Democrat voted against it: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
The spending bill, which includes a stack of high-profile year-end priorities ranging from nearly $40 billion in Ukraine aid to reforming election laws, is Democrats’ last legislative act before surrendering their House majority to Republicans in January. Will happen.
And with their post-midterm leverage boost, GOP leaders successfully negotiated the bill’s steep increases in military spending, adding billions of dollars beyond what President Joe Biden sought, shocking many progressives.
Meanwhile, Democrats touted the highest level of funding for domestic spending — $800 billion, or an increase of 9.3 percent from last year’s level.
speaker Nancy PelosiIn what was probably his last speech and perhaps his shortest in the role, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee applauded Rosa Delaro (D-Conn.) as a “maestro with a baton” to shepherd through the bill, marking the upcoming Christmas holiday, and thanked the staff who made it possible.
“Members have planes to catch, presents to wrap, carols to sing, religious services to attend,” she said, adding that the time reminded her of an English song: “Christmas is coming, The goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
Pelosi concluded, “The bill really was a package for the people.”
Like anything else in this bitterly divided Congress, the spending package’s path to passage has been winding and slow. Resistance from conservatives held it up in the Senate for several days, although majority leaders chuck schumer A timing agreement was finally reached on Thursday that would prevent weekend House votes.
Lower-chamber lawmakers had been eagerly expected to approve the bill Thursday night in time to catch Friday’s early flights from Washington. But a bureaucratic backlog in processing the 4,000-page bill forced the House to halt its votes until mid-morning on Friday.
The delay has frustrated some members, who have rebooked and canceled countless flights in the past 24 hours, though many – about 40 percent of the House – have instead opted to vote by proxy, a pandemic-era Taking advantage of the measure that the incoming GOP majority plans to Nix. Still more members are expected to vote by proxy on Friday, which could mean the final House vote this year will be among the least attended this Congress.
Even the fate of House members’ annual trip to the Middle East to visit American troops for Christmas was in question.
The bigger problems behind the delay in reaching the spending deal, however, lie far beyond the floor schedule. The House completed only half of its appropriations act, while the Senate did virtually nothing in this contentious midterm year.
The two sides haven’t even reached an agreement on how much money to spend in total as of Dec. 13, delayed by a Senate runoff in Georgia a week earlier — and even then, they won’t settle on a top-line spending number this week. until.
House Republicans, meanwhile, declined to participate in government funding talks with the minority leader. Kevin McCarthy Under intense pressure from the right wing of his party as he seeks to claim the Speaker’s hammer with a slim majority.
In fact, McCarthy took a particularly fiery approach to the bill, including going to the upper chamber earlier this week to lobby for it to Senate Republicans. And he used his privileges as a party leader to speak out against the law for about 25 minutes on the floor of the House on Friday, calling it “one of the most shameful acts of brutality and I have seen in this body”. I condemned
Privately, however, House Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief that the issue of government funding will be off their plate for a while, especially as they prepare to enter the majority with a paper-thin majority.
Other provisions of the funding bill: About $45 billion in aid to Ukraine; Bipartisan election reforms aim to prevent another attack on January 6; Chinese-owned app TikTok banned on government equipment; and new incentives for retirement savings.
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