The House and Senate have passed a sweeping $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package that will keep the US government operational through September 30 and will also provide new humanitarian, economic and military assistance to Ukraine. The bill was late in coming, more than five months into the fiscal year it represents.
The bill is heading to President Biden's desk for approval.
On a 68-31 vote, the Senate passed the 2,700-page omnibus bill. Members of Congress say there was no time to read what was in it before voting on it.
It reportedly contains:
- All 12 fiscal 2022 spending bills that fund the US government and would normally be passed individually with scrutiny
- $13.6 billion in supplemental appropriations of taxpayer money to address the crisis in Ukraine
- A lengthy list of unrelated measures that gained clearance "to ride on the must-pass vehicle"
The $15.6 billion for Covid-19 relief that House Democrats were seeking was not included since they refused to accept Republican demands that new funding be paid for with cuts in previously passed pandemic aid.
House Democrats plan to hold a vote next week on the $15.6 billion in Covid-19 funds, according to Yahoo! News.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) was one of 31 Senators who vote against the spending bill.
“Once again Congress is voting on a massive bill - 2,700 pages - that no one has had time to read, spends $1.5 trillion, and further mortgages our children's future. We just learned inflation hit a forty year high at 7.9% - wiping out wage gains and making life more difficult. Even though this bill funds many important priorities, I simply cannot support such a dysfunctional and harmful process.”Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wisconsin)
Read more here about passage of the bill.