I have written about the new budget deal that is working it’s way through the Congress….appears that a deal is near completion and should be sent to Biden’s desk for his signature….
Congressional leaders unveiled a $1.7 trillion spending package early Tuesday that includes another large round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% boost in defense spending, and roughly $40 billon to assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The bill includes about $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding, the AP reports. Lawmakers are working to stuff in as many priorities as they can into what is likely to be the last major bill of the current Congress. They are racing to complete passage of the bill before a midnight Friday deadline or face the prospect of a partial government shutdown going into the Christmas holiday. Lawmakers leading the negotiations released the details of the bill shortly before 2am Tuesday.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell has warned that if the fiscal year 2023 spending measure fails to gain bipartisan support this week, he would seek another short-term patch into next year, guaranteeing that the new Republican majority in the House would get to shape the package. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, argued against that approach in releasing the bill saying, “the choice is clear. We can either do our jobs and fund the government, or we can abandon our responsibilities without a real path forward.”
The Senate is expected to vote on the spending bill first where support from at least 10 Republican senators will be needed to pass it before the measure is considered by the House. As has been the case with recent catchall spending bills, lawmakers voiced concerns about passing legislation containing thousands of pages on short notice. “We still haven’t seen a single page of the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill, and they’re expecting us to pass it by the end of this week,” tweeted Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. “It’s insane.”
Ukraine gets its handouts in this bill….
Congress unveiled on Tuesday a massive $1.7 trillion omnibus funding bill that includes $45 billion in new Ukraine aid, which will bring total US spending on the war to about $112 billion.
The $45 billion is over $7 billion more than the $37.7 billion in Ukraine aid that the White House asked Congress to authorize before the next congressional session begins in January.
According to a summary of the new Ukraine aid, the $45 billion includes $9 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which allows the US to purchase arms for Kyiv and funds other types of support, including training and intelligence sharing.
The aid includes $11.8 billion to replenish US military stockpiles that have been sent to Ukraine. US European Command will get $6.98 billion for “mission support, intelligence support, pay, equipment, and related activities.” The US is set to open a new command in Germany dedicated entirely to overseeing the training and arming of Ukrainian forces.
Other types of aid include $13.37 billion for economic assistance and direct budgetary support and $2.47 billion for humanitarian aid. When it comes to oversight, the new aid includes $6 million for the Pentagon’s Inspector General and requires an IG report on the new funds.
Not to worry this will go through Congress for the theatrics are being set up for Zelensky to come and make his demands before our Congress.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is planning to visit Washington, DC on Wednesday on his first trip outside Ukraine since the Russian invasion, sources tell outlets including the AP and CNN. The sources say that while there’s a strong chance the trip could be called off at the last minute due to security issues, the visit will include a meeting with President Biden at the White House and an address to Congress if it goes ahead. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers they should attend Wednesday evening’s session in person. “We are ending a very special session of the 117th Congress with legislation that makes progress for the American people as well as support for our Democracy,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues, per the AP. “Please be present for a very special focus on Democracy Wednesday night.”
It always amazes me that some well meaning people can pitch a bitch about all those ‘freeloaders’ that receive welfare in one form or another…..and yet be perfectly fine when it comes to paying other countries to do our bidding…..
We can only hope that eventually that Americans will one day care more about their neighbors that a bit of frozen tundra in some far away …..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”