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The House just passed a massive spending bill. Here’s what’s inside

The House on Wednesday night passed a $1.5 trillion spending package that sends additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and funds the federal government through the end of September.

The spending bill increases funding for the military and nearly all nondefence-related agencies, with federal domestic spending expected to reach $715 billion and defense funding to $782 billion. for the rest of this exercise.

The House passed the spending measure in two separate votes, with the portion containing defense spending passing a vote of 361-69, and the non-defense portion passing a vote of 260-171..
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The bill was expected to pass Wednesday morning, but stalled after several Democrats refused to allow Congress to offset $15.6 billion in new COVID-19 aid with previously approved but unspent relief funds. To get the bill across the finish line, House Democratic leaders scrapped the COVID-19 relief provision — which was intended to replenish federal health programs that provide testing, treatment and vaccines — and now hope to pass a separate COVID-19 relief funding bill next week.

The omnibus bill is now heading to the Senate, where upper house lawmakers can continue to negotiate elements of the bill before it heads to President Joe Biden’s desk. Senate Minority Whip John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, said Tuesday he expected a “pretty robust” and “bipartisan” vote from his colleagues, largely due to the urgency to get help to Ukraine, signaling that it might be possible for the bill to quickly clean up the Senate.

Here are some of the most important provisions of the current bill.

$13.6 billion for aid to Ukraine

The package provides nearly $14 billion in emergency funding to help address Ukraine’s emerging humanitarian crisis and bolster the country’s defense against Russia, including $4 billion for humanitarian assistance, 3, 5 billion dollars for the shipment of new military equipment and 3 billion dollars for the deployment of American troops to the Region.

Most of the humanitarian aid – $2.65 billion to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – is intended to provide emergency food aid, health care and emergency support to vulnerable populations and communities in Ukraine. USAID will also fund an additional $120 million in initiatives to provide support to activists, journalists, and independent media to help promote public messaging and accountability for human rights abuses in Russia.

$1.4 billion to the Department of State will fund Migration and Refugee Assistance to provide support to flow of refugees from Ukraine. More than 2 million Ukrainians have fled their country in the 13 days since Russia began its invasion, according to a United Nations refugee agency tracker. $1.76 billion will be used to help Ukraine meet macroeconomic and governmental needs, such as protecting its electricity grid from disruptions. The legislation also allows Biden to transfer an additional $3 billion worth of surplus defense equipment to Ukraine and other regional U.S. allies if needed.

The Biden administration initially called on lawmakers to approve $10 billion in aid to Ukraine, but bipartisan efforts and the House’s unwavering support pushed that number up in the face of a worsening Russian attack and to calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for more equipment.

$1.45 billion for the southern border response

Republicans won a few concessions in the bill, including increased military spending, but they also won more than $23 billion for two key federal agencies that oversee immigration: Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Protection ( CBP).

$1.45 billion will go towards managing the volume of migrants arriving at the southern border, including $1.06 billion to CBP for processing facilities, migrant medical care and transportation. $30 million will fund new body-worn cameras and video recording equipment for border patrol posts, and $72.4 million will be invested in new aircraft and aircraft sensors.

U.S. border officials processed migrants at the southwest border 153,941 times in January, according to CBP data provided to a Texas federal court, marking a 14% decrease from the previous month.

$4 billion for rural development programs

After 2021bpartisan infrastructure bill announced a $65 billion investment in rural infrastructure to increase broadband access, the latest spending measure invests an additional $4 billion in rural development programs.

Of that amount, $550 million will go to broadband service expansion and $450 million to the ReConnect program, which provides loans and grants to cover the cost of building and improving broadband. The White House estimates that more than 30 million Americans live in areas that lack broadband infrastructure to provide minimally acceptable speeds.

Additional spending will be invested in basic utility infrastructure, including $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans and more than $653 million in grants to provide water drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems.

$24.6 billion for student financial aid

Biden called for sweeping higher education reforms during his State of the Union address on March 1, including an expansion of the $2,000 Pell Grant and additional funding for HBCU and colleges community. The spending bill partially achieves those goals, increasing the maximum Pell grant by $400 — the largest increase in the maximum grant in more than a decade — and authorizing $363 million in HBCU funding. In total, the bill provides $24.6 billion for federal student aid programs, an increase of $35 million from the previous year.

Investments in climate change

The bill provides record funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at $3.2 billion, $338 million more than the previous year but less than what Democrats in the House had proposed.

The funding will support the production of clean and affordable energy sources. An additional $78.3 million will fund the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to address the impacts of climate change on agricultural and rural communities, including research into clean energy technologies and gas reduction Greenhouse effect. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate will also receive $7.6 billion, an increase of $313.4 million from last year, to enable better scientific research on a variety of topics, including the Earth’s climate change.

2.7% increase in military salary

Military families have received steady increases to their salaries over the past few years, and with skyrocketing inflationthe spending bill provides full funding to support a 2.7% pay raise for all active duty troops.

Junior enlisted troops would earn about $790 more per year, and senior officers could earn an additional $2,600. The 2.7% figure was calculated using the Employment Cost Index, a federal formula that tracks private sector wages.

$575 million to renew the Violence Against Women Act

The bill reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act — a federal law that provides resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence — capping a years-long effort to renew the landmark legislation after it expires in 2019 .collapsed due to a partisan dispute over an expanded gun provision that Democrats wanted to include in an updated version of the law. The renewed funding will go to its prevention and prosecution programs.


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