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House passes $1.5 trillion bill to fund government

Andrew Solender

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a $1.5 trillion bill to fund the government through the end of September.

Why it matters: The bill includes an emergency funding requested by the White House to provide humanitarian and security assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s brutal invasion.

  • The vote represents a significant breakthrough after Congress had to pass three stopgap funding measures to keep the government open the last five months.
  • At the same time, the House also passed a fourth continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Friday to give the Senate time to consider the budget bill.

Driving the news: The House voted 361-69 to pass the defense portion of the package and 260-171 to pass the non-defense portion.

The details: The budget bill contains $13.6 billion around Ukraine, split between humanitarian and security assistance.

  • The vote got delayed after some Democrats protested that $8 billion of the Covid-19 money was offset with state and local funding in the American Rescue Plan.

Pelosi eventually announced that they would cut the COVID spending from the bill due to “Republican insistence — and the resistance by a number of our Members to making those offsets.”

  • “It is heartbreaking to remove the COVID funding, and we must continue to fight for urgently needed COVID assistance, but unfortunately that will not be included in this bill,” she wrote to members.
  • The delay upended the first day of the three-day House retreat where Democrats hoped to plan everything from messaging on inflation to immigration and election reform.

What’s next: The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to take several days to pass.

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters earlier this week he hopes to have a final vote on the package by Saturday.

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