$1.7 trillion spending bill released by US lawmakers to avoid shutdown
Senate Appropriations Commitee Chairman Patrick Leahy reveals the text of the new 2023 US spending bill.
US legislators unveiled the text of a $1.7 trillion spending measure early Tuesday, which Congress expects to adopt within days to avoid a government total shutdown.
The package includes $858 billion in defense expenditures as well as $44.9 billion to continue to support the war in Ukraine.
Furthermore, the bill entailed a $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, including $118.7 billion for Veterans Affairs medical care, a 22% increase, and $40.6 billion to assist US communities affected by recent environmental hazards such as hurricanes and floods.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a statement, "The pain of inflation on American families is real, and it is being felt right now across the federal government."
"From funding for nutrition programs and housing assistance, to home energy costs and college affordability, our bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill directly invests in providing relief from the burden of inflation on the American people," said Leahy.
Congress last week adopted a short-term budget bill to avert a shutdown of federal services and give the Democratic and Republican parties a little more time to reach a compromise ahead of the December 23 deadline.
"The choice is clear. We can either do our jobs and fund the government, or we can abandon our responsibilities without a real path forward," Leahy said.
The bill's text, which spans 4,155 pages and included expenditures until the end of the fiscal year of 2023, was released by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees.
McCarthy slams Dem. spending bill, 1-week stopgap prevents shutdown
Last week, on December 17, and in order to give politicians time to negotiate a broader agreement, the US Senate approved a stopgap spending bill that, which was later signed by the US President, in order to avert a complete government shutdown.
The Senate's 71-19 vote to extend the deadline for passing a funding measure until December 23 comes as negotiators continue to work on their omnibus spending package, which is expected to cost $1.7 trillion. Congress had until midnight Friday to enact a funding bill to avert a shutdown.
The stopgap spending package was adopted by the House of Representatives on Wednesday night, and US President Joe Biden signed it later on Saturday.
Republicans in the House had hoped to wait until after they take over the house in January in order to have a bigger role in the spending legislation. They had rejected attempts to draft the broader package before then.
Given their victory in the midterm elections on November 8, Kevin McCarthy called for Congress to enact a longer-term funding plan that would finance the government at current levels until the end of the year.
McCarthy wrote on his Twitter "The last-minute spending 'deal' was made by people who are on their way out the door. House Republicans won't support wasting your tax dollars on another massive spending blowout."
Read more: GOP must choose battles carefully to avoid army budget menace: WSJ