WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – A $1.7 trillion budget bill to fund federal agencies through September and provide more aid to Ukraine passed the House on Friday as lawmakers sought to finish their year’s work and avoid a partial government shutdown. Ran for
The bill passed along mostly party lines, 225-201, and was sent to President Joe Biden for signing into law.
The passage of the bill marked the conclusion of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s second term as Speaker of the House. Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives next year and Representative Kevin McCarthy is campaigning to replace him.
McCarthy is turning to the support of the bloc’s toughest conservatives who have strongly criticized the bill’s size and many of the priorities it contains. In a speech that lasted about 25 minutes, he criticized the bill for spending too much and curbing illegal immigration and the flow of fentanyl across the US-Mexico border.
“We have a big bill here because we had big needs for the country,” Pelosi said.
The Senate approved the bill on Thursday with strong bipartisan support.
The bill is 4,155 pages long, not including amendments added by the Senate. This includes a nearly 6% increase in spending for national initiatives, to $772.5 billion. Spending on defense programs will increase by 10% to $858 billion.
The bill’s approval came just hours before funding for federal agencies expires. Lawmakers approved two stopgap spending measures to keep the government running for now and a third on Friday to ensure services can continue for the rest of the year until Biden can sign the measure.
The massive bill includes 12 appropriations, aid to Ukraine and disaster assistance for communities recovering from hurricanes, floods and wildfires.
In a dramatic address to Congress late Wednesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told lawmakers that the aid is not charity, but an investment in global security and democracy.