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House rent wipes $1.5 trillion bus spending bill

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(Hill) – The House of Representatives passed a $1.5 trillion bus spending package Wednesday night to fund the government, hours after lawmakers shelled out billions in funding to fight back. COVID-19 pandemic amid upset Democrats’ opposition to plans to cut relief already allocated from states.

A last-minute revolt over COVID-19 funding from Democrats has angered Democrats as the GOP-requested offset disrupted a delicate bargaining package among the Democrats. congressional leaders of both parties.

As part of those bipartisan negotiations, the House’s passage of the omnibus package, which funds the federal government through September, was split into two votes so lawmakers could apply for specific support. for defense spending.

The House of Representatives first voted 361-69 to support funding for the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security and other national security priorities, and then 260-171, with one Democrat dropping out. “presence” vote, to pass provisions primarily related to domestic programs.

Congress faces difficult time to pass legislation President Biden for his signature, as current federal funding expires this Friday.

Lawmakers also passed a voice vote containment measure that runs until next Tuesday to ensure that the Senate has enough time to clear the omnibus package without risking a government shutdown.

The omnibus package includes about $14 billion in emergency funding to boost humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine and its Central European allies in response to the Russian invasion – as lawmakers in both Both sides push for more support for Ukraine.

The legislation was delayed for several hours after some Democrats protested a plan to reuse previously allocated COVID-19 funds from state governments to finance response efforts. federal pandemic response.

“I won’t stand it. If they can pull that off, we can move forward,” said rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) Indicate before the bill moves floors while noting that her status will be affected by the plans.

Negotiators included more than $15 billion in additional COVID-19 funding in an earlier version of the package announced at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, after the White House last week urged lawmakers Legislation authorized $22.5 billion to support federal coronavirus efforts.

A White House official warned on Wednesday that there would be “catastrophic” consequences from stripping the COVID-19 aid it requested from the package.

“Without additional COVID response resources, the results are dire: In March, testing capacity drops; by April, the uninsured fund – which provides testing and treatment coverage to tens of millions of Americans who lack health insurance – will run out of money; and in May, the US supply of monoclonal antibodies will run out. Simply put, failure to act now will have dire consequences for the American people,” the White House official said.

The new COVID-19 funding plans have been met with fierce resistance from Republicans, who demand payment for the payment and press for more information on already existing relief. allocated and unused.

Several top Republicans said they were more open to additional funding after Senate leaders signaled the aid would be offset through previously misappropriated funds earlier this week. . The push also comes amid mounting pressure on both sides to end months of overspending negotiations, as lawmakers see buses as an emergency funding vehicle for Ukraine.

But some House Democrats went crazy Wednesday morning after learning the language that made it 2,741 pages The bill text reflects the coronavirus pullout plan that had been allocated previously, just before they were scheduled to vote before leaving town.

“This deal was cut behind closed doors. The members found out this morning, this is completely unacceptable,” the rep said. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), whose state is among dozens of states that will be affected by the plans, told reporters after leaving Pelosi’s office earlier on Wednesday.

Answer. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) Tell The Hill on Wednesday that some progressive levels are also upset with the plan, in addition to the defense funding boost outlined in the bus exceeding President Biden’s request for activities.

“Many of us continue to be appalled that we continue to increase military spending even beyond what President Biden asked for,” Jayapal said. question.”

“Why can we create new money for defense spending, but when it comes to investing in our communities, the only way Congress can come to an agreement is to take the same amount? of Rescue Plan America out of our communities? ” Answer. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Another advancement, speak in a statement. “We cannot turn our backs on the progress this money was intended to fund.”

Instead of including COVID-19 funding in the omnibus package, Democratic leaders plan to set up an independent vote next week on that funding without a controversial offset from the funds. state and local relief.

Democrats are touting the biggest increase in non-defense discretionary spending in four years, with historic increases in funding for education, science, research and development. , as well as climate change.

Republicans have also praised the funding secured in the package, which includes more than $780 billion for the Department of Defense and other defense functions, as well as an 11% year-over-year increase for the Department of Defense. Homeland Security.

Senate negotiators expect the package to pass on Friday. But there is no agreement to speed the passage of the bill, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Said Tuesday that it is possible the Senate may not pass the bus until after Friday.

“There’s no reason you can’t get it done by Friday. But if we need Saturday or Sunday, we’ll do it then,” he told The Hill on Tuesday afternoon. “We’ll get it done.”

Peter Sullivan contributed.

https://www.wavy.com/news/politics/house-passes-sweeping-1-5-trillion-omnibus-spending-bill/ House rent wipes $1.5 trillion bus spending bill

Russell Falcon

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