Politics

Senate Sends Government Funding To Biden’s Desk After Late Night Vote

CAROLINE BREHMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
Font Size:

The Senate voted to pass a $1.5 trillion government funding resolution Thursday night, following the failure of several Republican amendments, including one targeting vaccine mandates.

The resolution, which includes nearly $14 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, passed 68-31, with only Republicans voting against it. President Joe Biden, who is traveling Friday and over the weekend, will sign the bill by Monday to avoid a government shutdown.

“This bill invests in future prosperity, in our health, and reduces everyday costs for millions of Americans, such as child care, a college education, and heating and cooling costs,” Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

Three Republican floor amendments to the package failed, although GOP members did ensure that an increase in defense spending, as well as the Hyde Amendment, made it into the final bill. The failed amendments included a ban on federal funding for vaccine mandates, a ban on earmarks and increased natural disaster recovery funds for the state of Louisiana.

The package did not include more than $15 billion in COVID-19 relief funding, after House Democrats failed to come to an agreement on an appropriate funding procedure. An initial proposal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have reallocated money already distributed to the states, but that mechanism proved unacceptable for enough representatives to sink the provision.

House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Rosa DeLauro introduced a bill Thursday to make up the $15.6 billion that was removed.

The resolution also included earmarks for the first time in over a decade. The line items, which allow lawmakers to steer funds to special projects in their districts, were previously banned by Republicans following the Tea Party wave elections. (RELATED: The Swamp Strikes Back—Many Republicans Will Earmark Again)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly scored 142 earmarks for New York in the omnibus bill, according to The Hill, while Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, reportedly passed 16 earmarks steering $650 million to his home state.