Congress unveils $ 2.3 trillion in government spending, virus relief plan

Congress unveiled a $ 2.3 trillion spending program on Monday, just hours before its scheduled passage through both chambers, funding the government until the end of the fiscal year and relieving a coronavirus-hit economy.

The package includes a $ 1.4 trillion omnibus bill based on a 2019 spending deal, which includes $ 740.5 billion in defense spending and $ 664.5 billion in domestic programs.

He also includes a $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, which congressional leaders agreed to over the weekend.

The combined $ 2.3 trillion package is among the largest spending bills ever considered by Congress and follows the $ 2.2 trillion CARES bill passed in late March.

While the COVID-19 relief bill focuses on expanding unemployment, providing stimulus checks and strengthening small businesses, the omnibus includes a broader set of policy issues, such as transportation, agriculture, health, internal security and foreign operations.

“As I prepare to leave the House after 32 years of service, I could not be happier that we are concluding this Congress with a bipartisan agreement to provide the certainty of annual funding to the whole of government and to urgent coronavirus relief to save lives and livelihoods, ”said outgoing House Appropriations Committee chairman Nita LoweyNita Sue Lowey Progressives in the lobbying world fight for influence amid an increasingly thin majority Biden must tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East agendas MORE (DN.Y.), the first woman to lead the panel.

The includes several Democratic priorities previously approved by the House as well as provisions reflecting the goals of the Senate GOP.

It includes a 3 percent pay increase for the military and a 1 percent pay increase for the federal civilian workforce.

The National Institutes of Health would receive a boost of $ 1.25 billion, bringing the budget to $ 42.9 billion, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would receive a boost of $ 125 million. dollars, to $ 7.9 billion.

The omnibus also included $ 1.375 billion for 56 miles of President TrumpDonald Trump RNC warns he will advise presidential candidates against future debates if panel does not make changes Washington Post issues correction on 2020 report on Tom Cotton, publisher of the National Enquirer lab leak theory fined for breaking the law with McDougal payment: WSJ PLUSthe border wall, an issue that became a central obstacle to the passage of spending legislation during his presidency. This is the same amount approved last year, although President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenRNC warns he will advise presidential candidates against future debates if panel does not make changes Washington Post issues correction on 2020 Tom Cotton report, lab leak theory Graham says Israel will demand billions from the United States after the Gaza war shouldn’t be using billions of emergency defense funds to support the project like Trump did.

The omnibus does not include Democratic language that would have blocked Trump’s executive order lifting protections for public servants and helping political appointees stay in government positions after Biden takes office.

The legislation maintains several abortion-related restrictions, such as the long-standing Hyde Amendment that prevents federal funds from being used for abortions.

While it does not include the sweeping police reforms that House Democrats approved following the murder of George Floyd in late May, it would provide $ 5 million to create a database to track the misconduct of the police and $ 153 million for programs to improve community relations with the police, a rate of 77 percent. increase compared to fiscal year 2020.

It also includes approval for the Smithsonian to begin work on two new history museums on the National Mall, one dedicated to women’s history and the other to Latin American history.

On the tax front, Congress has included provisions to make it easier to obtain work income and child tax credits, while allowing businesses to write off 100 percent of business meals instead of the 50 percent. current, and by removing an increase in the excise tax on brewers. and distilleries.

The year-end package included other important legislative measures, such as a bipartite agreement on surprise medical billing and energy legislation that would restrict the use of hydrofluorocarbons, a common greenhouse gas in air conditioners. It is the first major piece of climate legislation in over a decade.

But the unveiling of the bill on Monday afternoon left lawmakers, advocacy groups and voters with little time to see the contents of the final text before Congress votes on the measure. Timing drew criticism from all political backgrounds. Problems downloading and printing the 5,593-page invoice further delayed publication.

“5,600 pages. Votes are still expected today on this legislation. No one will be able to read everything in its entirety. Special interests prevail. Americans lose, ”Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus tweeted.

Progressive brandon Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden Suspends Arctic Oil Leases Issued Under Trump | Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set their sights on Civilian Climate Corps Progressives set their sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: Danny K. Davis, long-time Illinois sole representative, secures leading challenger backed by Democrats for justice MORE (DN.Y.) expressed a similar sentiment.

“Congress needs to see and read the bills we need to vote on. I know it’s “controversial” and I’m having trouble sharing things like this, but the people of this country deserve to know. They deserve better ”, she tweeted.

The omnibus largely rejects a Trump spending proposal that would have implemented significant cuts in federal agencies such as the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency and in institutions such as the National Institutes for Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“This bill places the ultimate stake at the heart of the Trump administration’s efforts to dramatically diminish the government’s role in helping Americans in need and in promoting economic growth,” the vice-president said. Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Patrick leahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBiden’s Budget Expands Government’s Role in Economy House narrowly approves .9B Capitol Security Bill after “squad” drama Senators cast off their masks after CDC lifts the PLUS mandate (D-Vt.).

Congress has categorically rejected the spending cuts proposed by Trump in each year of his presidency.

Trump is expected to sign the legislation, despite his assertion in 2017 that he would never again sign a huge last-minute spending package made public briefly before it was passed.

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

About Natalee Broderick

Natalee Broderick

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