UPDATE: January 4, 2022
President Joe Biden signed the $1.7 trillion federal spending bill into law on Dec. 29 calling it a “year of historic progress.”
“It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, (Violence Against Women Act) funding—and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden said on Twitter. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
The bill was flown to President Biden for signing while vacationing on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The White House received the bill from Congress late afternoon on Wednesday. The bill was delivered to the President for his signature by White House staff on a regularly scheduled commercial flight,” a White House official told pool reporters.
In a 68-29 vote, the Senate passed a $1.7 trillion funding bill ahead of a possible shutdown. The omnibus package now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote, which is said to have the necessary votes to send the bill onto President Biden for signature before Friday evening’s deadline.
The 4,155-page measure will include “$772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs & $858 billion in defense funding,” Causes.com reported. The bill includes electoral reform, aid for Ukraine, natural disaster assistance, food assistance, military and veterans support and TikTok restrictions.
“A lot of hard work, a lot of compromise,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “But we funded the government with an aggressive investment in American families, American workers, American national defense. “It is one of the most significant appropriations packages we’ve done it a really long time.”
With the bill facing opposition from Republicans in the House, the “slim Democratic majority” is said to get the bill passed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hoping her chamber will get things done by Friday evening.
“We’re waiting to see how long the debate goes there,” Pelosi said. “We want people to go home, and as you know there are storms across the country. So hopefully that will be a motivation for expedited discussion.”
According to Causes.com, things to be noted about this bill include:
- Overhaul the 1887 Electoral Count Act by including a version of the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022
- $45 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine
- $40.6 billion for communities in the U.S. recovering from tornadoes, drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, and other natural disasters
- Ban TikTok on all government-issued devices over security concerns
- 4.6% pay raise for troops
- 22.4% increase in support for Veteran Administration medical care
- Establish a permanent nationwide Summer EBT program