Congress Passes $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Averts Shutdown with Bipartisan Deal

A $1.2 trillion spending package has been passed into law, funding the U.S. government until September 2024.

Partial Shutdown Avoided

After months of dramatic infighting in Congress, the sixth in a series of spending bills has been passed, keeping the federal government fully funded and narrowly avoiding a partial government shutdown. The $1.2 trillion spending package was passed in Congress mere minutes before a midnight deadline and was signed into law by President Biden on Saturday.

The vote came through at 74-24 with an overwhelming majority in favor after a lengthy back-and-forth between Democrat and Republican lawmakers who fought to add more policy votes to the bill. 

While all government funding officially ran out at midnight early Saturday, the brief shutdown is unlikely to have any serious effects.

Funding Until the End of the Fiscal Year

The package will prop up the federal government until September, the end of the 2024 fiscal year. 

 “It wasn’t easy, but tonight, our persistence has been worth it,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “It is good for the country that we have reached this bipartisan deal.” 

In a statement accompanying the signing, Biden acknowledged that though neither Republicans nor Democrats got everything they wanted, it did “represent a compromise” for both parties without significant sacrifice.

Rejections and Expansions

“It rejects extreme cuts from House Republicans and expands access to child care, invests in cancer research, funds mental health and substance use care, advances American leadership abroad,” Biden continued. 

He also pointed to immigration policies that have become a central concern for voters, saying that the funding “provides resources to secure the border that my administration successfully fought to include. That’s good news for the American people.”

Most of the federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year will go to seven key agencies, including the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and more. 

Narrow Pass in the House

While the bill passed an easy majority in the Senate, it only narrowly passed in the House of Representatives before it. The bill needed a two-thirds majority and was passed by a vote of 286 to 134. Leadership on both sides spent hours negotiating over policy amendments before the bill was signed, with a focus on spending cuts and immigration policies.

Many Republican lawmakers are still unhappy with the decision, wanting to push Democrats to make further concessions and pass new immigration laws that would address the large influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

House Speaker Spurned

In particular, House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana saw significant pushback from his own party members after endorsing and voting in support of the package. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene went so far as to file a motion to out Johnson and appoint a new House Speaker, calling the motion “more of a warning than a pink slip.”

Other Republicans criticized the increase in government spending. Senator Rand Paul called the bill “reckless,” saying that it “leads to inflation. It’s a direct vote to steal your paycheck.” Texas Representative Chip Roy took his criticisms a step further, calling the bill an “abomination.”

“It’s a total lack of backbone, total lack of leadership, and a total failure by Republican leadership. There’s no other way to describe it,” he said.

No Comments From Trump

So far, the president’s primary opposition and the likeliest GOP candidate for the presidential election, Donald Trump, has not commented on the bill’s passing. His campaign has also refused requests for a response.

The bill hearkens back to a $1.3 trillion package that the former president reluctantly signed in 2018. He later told Congress he would “never sign another bill like this again.”

The post Congress Passes $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Averts Shutdown with Bipartisan Deal first appeared on Swift Feed.

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