A USD 1.7 trillion spending Bill to provide more aid to a devastated Ukraine was cleared by the House on Friday (local time), as lawmakers race to finish their work for the year and avoid a partial government shutdown, reported CNN.
The Bill passed mostly along party lines, 225-201. The measure will now go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. Government funding is currently set to expire late Friday evening and lawmakers are racing against the clock to clear the measure before the deadline, reported CNN.
The Senate passed the legislation on Thursday along with a Bill to extend the deadline by one week, to December 30, to provide enough time for the yearlong bill to be formally processed and sent to Biden.
The House approved the a one-week extension on Friday ahead of the final vote on the broader spending Bill.
The massive spending Bill for the fiscal year 2023, known on Capitol Hill as an omnibus, provides USD 772.5 billion for non-defence and domestic programmes and USD 858 billion in defence funding.
It includes roughly USD 45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies and roughly USD 40 billion to respond to natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and flooding, reported CNN.
Among other provisions, the spending Bill also includes the Secure Act 2.0, a package aimed at making it easier to save for retirement and a measure to ban TikTok from government devices.
Meanwhile, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy criticised the USD 1.7 trillion dollar spending Bill in a floor speech ahead of the House vote, reported CNN.
“This is a monstrosity. It is one of the most shameful acts I have ever seen in this body,” the California Republican said, adding, “The appropriations process has failed the American public, and there is no greater example of the nail in the coffin of the greatest failure of a one-party rule of the House, the Senate, and the presidency of this bill here.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later spoke in favour of the spending Bill, noting that the moment would “probably be my last speech as speaker of the House on this floor, and I’m hoping to make it my shortest”, reported CNN.