Home South AmericaVenezuela Legislators in the US present a million-dollar bill to avoid the closure of Congress

Legislators in the US present a million-dollar bill to avoid the closure of Congress

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Legislators in the US present a million-dollar bill to avoid the closure of Congress

US lawmakers, in the measure released early Tuesday, included another large round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% increase in defense spending, and roughly $40 billion to help communities across the country recover from droughts, hurricanes and other natural disasters

Text: Associated Press/VOA


Congressional leaders unveiled a $1.7 trillion spending package for all of government early Tuesday that includes another big round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% increase in defense spending, and roughly $40 billion to help communities across the country recover from droughts, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The bill, which is 4,155 pages long, includes about $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding and would last through the end of the fiscal year in September.

Lawmakers worked to include as many priorities as they could in the sprawling package, likely the last major bill in Congress today.

They are racing to complete approval before the Friday midnight deadline or face the prospect of a partial government shutdown before the Christmas holidays.

Lawmakers leading the negotiations released details of the bill shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The spending package includes about $45 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine as it fights invasion by Russia, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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It would be the largest US infusion of assistance to Ukraine yet, even above President Joe Biden’s $37 billion emergency request, and would ensure funds flow to the war effort for months to come.

The United States has provided about $68 billion to Ukraine in previous rounds of military, economic, and humanitarian assistance. “Finishing the bus is critical, absolutely critical to supporting our friends in Ukraine,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.

The legislation also includes landmark revisions to federal election law that are intended to prevent future presidents or presidential candidates from attempting to overturn an election. The bipartisan review of the Voter Count Act is a direct response to efforts by former President Donald Trump to convince Republican lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to object to President Joe Biden’s certification of victory on January 6, 2021.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has warned that if the fiscal 2023 spending measure fails to win bipartisan support this week, he will seek another short-term patch next year, ensuring the new House Republican majority of Representatives can shape the package.

Lawmakers are on the verge of completing the 2023 spending package nearly three months late. It was supposed to be finished last October 1, when the government’s fiscal year began.

The last time Congress enacted all of its spending bills was in 1996, when the Senate finished its work on September 30, the last day of the budget year.

Then-President Bill Clinton signed it that same day. The Senate is expected to vote first on the spending bill, which will need the support of at least 10 Republican senators to pass it before the House considers the measure.

As has been the case with recent omnibus spending bills, lawmakers raised concerns about thousands of pages of legislation being passed on short notice.

“We have yet to see a single page of the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill, and they expect us to pass it by the end of this week,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., tweeted. “It’s crazy.”

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