US Senate reaches deal to ensure passing of $1.75 trillion bill
A bill has been agreed on before Friday's deadline.
US senators have reached a deal to ensure that that the $1.75 trillion funding bill passes, and will begin voting on Thursday before Friday's deadline to avert the federal government's partial shutdown, according to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
"We have an agreement now, and we will vote on all of the amendments in order," Schumer said in remarks in the Senate.
The spending bill to fund the government in fiscal year 2023 includes $858 billion in military and 'defense,' in addition to $45 billion in military aid to Ukraine.
The bill should pass both the Senate and House, with US President Joe Biden signing a bill by Friday at midnight to avoid a partial government shutdown.
However, some Republicans such as Kevin McCarthy expressed opposition to the deal, with lawmakers arguing that Congress, instead, should pass a short-term resolution which temporarily funds the government until the new Congress - which will assume office on January 3 - can draft a comprehensive budget. Republicans will be holding the House majority then.
Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday hailed the bill in his White House visit, especially that it was bound to provide millions of dollars worth of military assistance to Ukraine.
Zelensky in US Congress confirms war in Ukraine is war for US
Zelensky arrived at the White House on Wednesday for a meeting with US President Joe Biden in light of the ongoing war in his country and addressed the US Congress in a joint session as lawmakers mull ratifying legislation that will include billions of dollars to be sent to Ukraine as "aid."
During the address, Zelensky urged US lawmakers to provide his forces with more weapons as well as impose additional anti-Russian sanctions.
“We have artillery, yes – thank you,” Zelensky acknowledged in his address, and then questioned whether that is enough and went on to answer himself “Honestly, not really.”
Zelensky claimed that “to make sure the Russians completely pull out, more shells and cannons are needed.”
The Ukrainian President then called for increased unilateral sanctions against Russia, arguing that Congress had the capacity to impose stronger sanctions.
Early in his address Zelensky claimed that Kiev has already “defeated Russia in the battle for minds of the world” and the rest of the West had achieved a “victory” over the Russian Federation which he insisted “will never influence us again.”
Zelensky also used the occasion to attack not only the Russian Federation but also Iran as he stated that "Russia found an ally" in what he called "its homicidal strategy - Iran."
Also in his speech, the Ukrainian President hinted that only regime change will "liberate" Russia and noted that "the Russians will stand a chance to be free only when they defeat the Kremlin in their minds."