House Passes $1.5 Trillion Spending Bill to Fund Government

The House voted Wednesday night to pass a $1.5 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September and provide nearly $14 billion in critical aid to Ukraine.

The bill includes $730 billion in non-defense funding, an increase of $46 billion over fiscal year 2021, and $782 billion in defense funding, an increase of $42 billion over the previous fiscal year, according to the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal discretionary spending.

The bill also provides $13.6 billion in supplemental funding to boost humanitarian, security and economic assistance related to the Ukraine crisis.

“This legislation will strengthen our national security, bolster our economic prosperity and advance our shared democratic values – and it will follow through on America’s commitment to the people of Ukraine,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said.

To pass the House, the bill was split into two parts: the defense portion, which passed in a 361-69 vote, and the non-defense portion, which passed in a 260-171 vote.

“With passage of this government funding legislation, we are delivering historic investments that will help lower the cost of living for working families, create American jobs, and support our nation’s most vulnerable,” House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

Passage of the legislation faced some delays throughout the day on Wednesday – mainly due to the inclusion of $15.6 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect against new variants. Some members raised concerns about how the bill partially paid for a new infusion of the COVID-19 cash by clawing back unused pandemic relief funds from their home states.

Ultimately, Democratic leadership decided to put the $15.6 billion in funding into a standalone package that’ll get its own House vote. But without it attached to the spending bill, it’s unlikely that a separate bill can clear a split 50-50 Senate since they’ll need at least ten votes from Republicans.

The bill now goes to the Senate. The House also passed a stopgap measure by voice vote to extend federal government funding until March 15 to give the Senate enough time to pass the omnibus spending bill and avoid a government shutdown. The current government funding expires on Friday.

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