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Tags: congress | spending bill | house | senate | deadline

House Passes $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Sends to Senate

Friday, 22 March 2024 11:56 AM EDT

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a $1.2 trillion bill to keep the government funded through September, leaving the Democrat-majority Senate hours to act before a partial government shutdown deadline at midnight.

The 286-134 vote signals the coming end to a more-than-six-month battle over the scope of Washington's spending for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The last shutdown occurred during Donald Trump's presidency, from Dec. 22, 2018 until Jan. 25, 2019. The record-long interruption in government services came as the Republican insisted on money to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and was unable to broker a deal with Democrats.

The current 1,012-page bill provides $886 billion in funding for the Defense Department, including a raise for U.S. troops. It also covers agencies ranging from the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department, along with the Treasury and State departments.

The funding would add to the fast-growing national debt that now totals nearly $34.6 trillion.

A separate controversial money matter is boiling in Congress where its leaders, except for House Speaker Mike Johnson, urgently are calling for final passage of a $95 billion security assistance package approved by the Senate for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Some Republicans are balking at continuing to back Ukraine in its war against the invading Russian military.

While conservatives succeeded in getting Congress and President Joe Biden, a Democrat, to agree to some fiscal 2024 spending cuts, they hoped for far deeper ones. Their disgruntlement led to the historic October removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The Republicans' subsequent political infighting shut down the House for three weeks as Republicans fought over a replacement.

Since then, with the November elections looming, most Republicans have been loath to trigger a government shutdown over spending, although Washington was brought to the brink four times since late September.

Rating agencies have warned that the repeated brinkmanship could take a toll on the U.S. government's creditworthiness.

Most U.S. Border Patrol and immigration agents would continue to work if a shutdown were to begin Saturday. But local governments might not receive new aid to shelter migrants.

U.S. soldiers and all federal workers would not get paid until new funding is enacted and national parks would be shuttered. Same situation for the two U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station 254 miles (409 km) above Earth.

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service would continue processing tax returns that are due on April 15. It would advise taxpayers of any potential delays in refunds. At the State Department, security at embassies and other foreign offices would remain in force and passports and visas would be issued as long as there were sufficient fees to support such activities. Many other operations would cease.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


US
The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a $1.2 trillion bill to keep the government funded through September, leaving the Democrat-majority Senate hours to act before a partial government shutdown deadline at midnight.
congress, spending bill, house, senate, deadline
462
2024-56-22
Friday, 22 March 2024 11:56 AM
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