Lawmakers unveil sweeping government funding bill to avert shutdown


Lawmakers early Tuesday unveiled the legislative text of a massive full-year government funding bill that Congress hopes to pass to avoid a weekend shutdown.

The expectation on Capitol Hill is that a shutdown will be avoided, but congressional leaders have little room for error given the tight timeline they face. The government fund is set to expire on Friday at midnight.

The massive $1.7 trillion spending bill, known on Capitol Hill as an omnibus, would fund critical government operations at federal agencies for fiscal year 2023. The proposal was the product of lengthy negotiations between leading congressional Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate and House Appropriations Committees released the text of the bill, which is more than 4,000 pages, on Tuesday morning.

“The choice is clear. We can do our jobs and fund the government, or we can abandon our responsibilities with no real path forward,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said in a statement. “The passage of this bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill is undoubtedly in the interest of the American people. This is the product of months of hard work and compromise, and I want to thank my friends Vice Chairman Shelby and Chair DeLauro for their cooperation and hard work. The House and Senate must take up this bill and pass it without delay.”

Senate leaders intend to take procedural steps to pass the bill on Thursday and then send it to the House, where it is expected to be ratified, and then to President Joe Biden for his signature before the deadline. of Friday.

The Senate committee said in a news release that “the omnibus includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, including $118.7 billion – a 22 percent increase – for VA medical care, and $858 billion in funding for defense. To combat the pain of inflation felt by American families across the country, the bill makes major investments in our communities, funding critical programs that support America’s middle-class families, care for our veterans, and investing in our national security.

The bill also includes $44.9 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine and NATO allies, the Senate committee detailed in its news release.

Other provisions in the bill, according to Senate sources, include an overhaul of the 1887 Electoral Count Act and the Secure Act 2.0, a package aimed at making it easier to save for retirement. The bill also includes a proposal to ban TikTok from federal devices.

But some key steps are not included in the plan. Legislation to allow cannabis companies to bank their cash reserves — known as the Safe Banking Act — was not included in the final bill, nor were scores of corporate and individual tax breaks, such as the extension of the expanded child tax credit, sources said. .

There is also no final resolution on where to locate the FBI’s new headquarters, a major point of contention as lawmakers from Maryland – led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer – have pushed to bring the law enforcement agency to their state. In a deal struck by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the General Services Administration would be required to conduct “separate and detailed consultations” with representatives of Maryland and Virginia about potential sites in each state, according to a Senate Democrat. assistant


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