Democratic lawmakers have introduced a budget bill to fund the federal government through Dec. 16, provide additional support to Ukraine, and help communities respond to recent natural disasters.
Both houses of Congress must pass the legislation by Friday, the end of the fiscal year, to prevent a partial government shutdown. This represents the last stretch of unfinished business for lawmakers before the midterm elections in November. Both parties are eager to get the job done and devote more time to campaigning, reducing the risk of a federal government shutdown.
The first vote that tested the chances of the budget bill took place on Tuesday evening in the Senate, where it was voted 72 to 23 in favor of continuing with further consideration of this proposal.
The bill provides about $12.3 billion in aid to Ukraine, including training, equipment, armaments and direct financial support to the Ukrainian government. The aid will be added to about $53 billion that Congress has already approved through two previous bills.
The proposal does not include the White House’s request to spend $22 billion to respond to COVID-19 and $3.9 billion to fight an epidemic of the monkeypox virus. Republican lawmakers overwhelmingly opposed funding these health care measures.
Natural disaster relief in the bill includes $2.5 billion to help New Mexico communities recover from the largest wildfire in the state’s history; $2 billion for a fund to aid the economic recovery of communities affected by recent natural disasters and $20 million for previously authorized drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements for the city of Jackson, Mississippi.
The bill would also provide an additional $1 billion for a program that helps low-income families afford to heat their homes.
There has been broad bipartisan support for increased aid to Ukraine. The bill includes $4.5 billion to help the Ukrainian government provide basic services to citizens and authorizes the president to withdraw $3.7 billion in equipment from United States stockpiles to support Ukraine’s armed forces. It also contains funds to replace stockpiles of US equipment and ammunition sent to Ukraine and to provide Ukraine with intelligence support and training.
“With Russia conducting fraudulent elections to annex parts of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people urgently need our support to continue protecting their families and protecting global democracy,” said Legislator Rosa DeLauro, the Democratic chair of the House Budget Committee. of the House of Representatives.