By Ray Bogan (Political Correspondent), Brent Jabbour (Producer)
The United States Senate on Thursday approved a $1.7 trillion omnibus package to fund the federal government through September of next year. The legislation is now heading to the House, and if passed, must be signed by President Joe Biden before funding runs out on Friday.
The spending package, which passed the Senate 68-29, has $858 billion in defense funding and $45 billion in aid to Ukraine. It also provides $59 billion for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law last year. It also includes the Electoral Count Act, which makes clear the vice president does not have the authority to overturn presidential election results and only plays a ministerial role in the certification process.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., lauded funding the CHIPS Act and PACT Act as part of the legislation.
“A lot of hard work. A lot of compromise. But, we funded the government with an aggressive investment in American families, American workers, American national defense,” Schumer said during a press conference Thursday following its passage. “It’s one of the most significant appropriations packages we’ve done in a long time.”
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke on the Senate floor about the commitment to the military included in the spending bill.
“The world’s greatest military will get the funding increase that it needs, outpacing inflation,” McConnell said. “Meanwhile, nondefense, non-veterans spending will come in below the rate of inflation, for a real-dollar cut.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the lower chamber could bring the spending bill up for a vote as early as Thursday evening during her weekly press briefing.