House passes $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package, sending bill to Biden's desk for signature
The House on Friday passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package to avert a looming government shutdown and keep the federal government fully funded through fiscal 2023 – sending the measure to President Biden for him to sign it into law.
The measure passed within hours of the federal government effectively running out of money, which would have temporarily shuttered some government agencies.
Passage in the House came amid strong objections from House Republicans who argued the 4,000-plus-page bill was jammed through without them having time to review it, after the Senate on Thursday passed its version with over a dozen amendments.
House Republicans also have argued since winning control of the chamber in November that the Democrat-controlled Congress should have instead passed a stopgap measure to give them input when they are in control.
The bill includes over $850 billion in defense spending, $772.5 billion for non-defense and just under $45 billion in aid for Ukraine to defeat the invasion from Russia.
Senate Republicans delayed passage of the measure when they tried to get an amendment inserted to force the Biden administration to postpone the end of a Trump-era move – activating the decades-old Title 42 health-safety law – to curtail immigration amid the pandemic.
However, House Republicans including those taking office next month, accused their Senate counterparts of not supporting their request for a short-term spending bill.
Some have vowed to squash the legislative initiatives of any of the 18 Senate Republicans who backed the funding bill and have encouraged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, if he becomes speaker, to take such action.
"Voting in favor of this bill is a dereliction of our duty on all counts," 31 current and incoming House Republican lawmakers said in an open letter published Wednesday to their Senate colleagues.
"As such, we reiterate that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for its passage – including the Republican leader."