Two Days Before Shutdown, House Passes Government Funding

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a funding resolution that will keep the federal government running through September, just two days before it would have shut down.

The $1.5 trillion package, intended to be for the entire 2022 fiscal year, includes $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine and a 5.6% increase in overall defense spending to $782 billion. It also boosts discretionary domestic spending to $730 billion, a 6.7% increase. The package also includes a formal end to the 2011 earmark ban, a move that is sure to anger conservative Republicans in the Senate. (RELATED: House To Include Ukraine Aid In Government Funding Bill, Pelosi Says)

The package also includes the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortion. Most Democrats support eliminating the block.

Republicans fought hard, over the objections of many Washington Democrats, to give our Armed Forces the resources they need. And we won. This agreement provides significantly more money than the Biden Administration requested for defense and significantly less money than the Administration requested for nondefense. At my insistence, it also provides much more money for Ukraine than Democrats had proposed, particularly for authorities and funding to deliver crucial military equipment to Ukraine quickly,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement endorsing the package.

Democratic leadership was forced to withdraw the bill from the House floor over a provision that reallocated $15.6 billion in additional COVID-19 funds through money that had already been distributed to states. Several members of the party balked at the funding mechanism, with Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig calling it “completely unacceptable.”

Democratic Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, introduced a standalone bill spending that exact amount.

The resolution ultimately passed in two components, with the defense portion passing 361-69 and the non-defense passing 260-171. Republicans filed an early afternoon motion to adjourn to prevent passage, but that vote failed 255-173.

House Democrats were originally scheduled to leave for their yearly retreat Wednesday evening, creating a rush to introduce and pass the resolution in the lower chamber. The House Appropriations Committee released the bill at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Politico.

The House Rules Committee also passed a stopgap measure that would extend the Senate’s deadline to pass the appropriations package to March 15.

Congress has passed three government funding resolutions since President Joe Biden took office, as it failed to pass a traditional full year appropriations package. Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2021 funding package in December 2020.