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Politics

Congress Unveils $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Bill

U.S. Capital

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The 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion omnibus bill was released by Congressional appropriators at 1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday which only gives legislatures a few days to review the bill before a looming government shutdown Friday. If passed, the bill would increase defense spending by $76 billion, bringing the total in defense spending to $858 billion. Domestic spending included in the bill is $773 billion.

The package is a blend of both Republican and Democratic victories. The Republicans were able to increase defense spending, while Democrats managed to increase domestic spending through the passage of the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act.

Other items in the bill include:

  • $600 million to go towards water problems in Jackson, Mississippi
  • $1 billion for Puerto Rico’s electric grid
  • $5 billion that is earmarked for over 3,000 miscellaneous projects
  • $45 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine. Biden only requested $37 billion for military and Ukraine aid
  • $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health

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Items that were left out of the bill include:

  • The SAFE Banking Act that would expand banking options for marijuana businesses
  • Covid-19 aid
  • A bill that would narrow sentencing differences between crack and powder cocaine
  • An extension of the Child Tax Credit

Discontent with the bill started almost immediately upon its release, with thirteen House GOPs immediately drafting a letter to Senate Republicans requesting that they oppose the bill.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) noted that not every senator would help congress “ram” the omnibus through the Senate. Lee also said rhetorically, “This bill has been written in large measure by two retiring senators, one Republican and one Democrat. Why should we move heaven and earth trying to force their priorities on the very people they keep in the dark – all according to two senators’ contrived, manipulative timeline?”

Despite the dissatisfaction of several House Republicans, the bill must be passed by the Senate before Friday to prevent a government shutdown.

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