Negotiators in the U.S. Congress unveiled a $1.7 trillion government funding bill on Monday, as lawmakers scrambled to pass the measure, which includes record military spending, before temporary funding runs out at the week's end.
The total funding proposed by the bill is up from the approximately $1.5 trillion appropriated the previous year.
Leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives aimed to pass the bill and send it to Democratic President Joe Biden by the end of the week to ensure no interruptions to the government's activities. For months, Democrats and Republicans have squabbled over how much money should be spent on military and non-military programs.
Included in the bill is $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies and $40.6 billion to assist communities across the country recovering from natural disasters and other matters.
This would be on top of the record $858 billion in military spending for the year, which is up from last year's $740 billion and also exceeds Biden's request.
Democrats and Republicans alike had aimed to tuck as many legislative wish-list items as possible into the "omnibus" bill funding the government through the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2023, without derailing the whole package.
"From funding for nutrition programs and housing assistance, to home energy costs and college affordability, our bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill directly invests in providing relief from the burden of inflation on the American people," Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement.
Failure could bring a partial government shutdown beginning Saturday, just before Christmas, and possibly lead into a months-long standoff after Republicans take control of the House on Jan. 3, breaking Biden's Democrats' grip on both chambers of Congress.
Negotiators worked through the weekend to put the finishing touches on the bill, which still could be amended by the full House or Senate.
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