Senate Passes $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill

Thursday afternoon the Senate passed the $1.7 trillion spending bill. This comes after a fight over immigration policy that nearly derailed the legislation. The bill’s passage in Senate will send it to the House. Where it has been speculated Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to hold a vote as early as Thursday evening, to allow lawmakers time to depart for the Christmas holiday weekend.

The bill was passed with a 68-29 vote. In which the $1.7 trillion will provide $858 billion for defense, $787 billion for non-defense domestic programs, nearly $45 billion for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and $15 billion additional dollars from 7,200 earmarks in the more than 4,000-page bill.

While both parties negotiated the spending bill in the Senate, it faced opposition from the majority of Republicans. Although, a handful of Republicans did vote with all Democrat members to pass the bill. The actual vote ended out slightly lower than what was measured earlier in the week as Senate took a vote to overcome the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold.

Several Republicans also attempted to hold the vote, arguing the GOP-controlled House would create a longer hold-up in January, or they attempted to add to the bill enough to make it impossible for the House to pass. For instance, Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, brought up that the spending bill ignores Senate’s own rule which aims at making sure new spending is paid for using spending cut money – which the Senate then voted to waive in a 65-31 vote. Then, on Wednesday the bill was almost derailed by a Republican push to add “immigration language” to the bill. In an attempt to exchange speeding up the voting process Republicans, led by Senator Mike Lee from Utah, asked to keep Title 42 – a Trump-era policy. This held up Senate for a couple of hours, though it ultimately failed before the bill was inevitably passed.


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