Senate Passes $1.2 Trillion Funding Package, Ending Series of Spending Fights

The Senate approved a funding package of $1.2 trillion on Saturday morning. This marks the end to multiple spending battles that have plagued Congress for many months.

Senators approved a hefty package of spending bills containing the six remaining fiscal year 2024 appropriations by a vote 74-24 despite Republican opposition who were frustrated at the lack of time for unbiased review. The package was released on Thursday morning. This meant that lawmakers had less than 2 days to review its 1,012 page contents.

Some Republican Senators planned to delay the $1.2 Trillion spending package because of the time crunch. Senator Mike Lee (R. Utah) called the process “utterly ridiculous.” Senator Rick Scott, (R. Florida) said that this was a “crazy way to run a country.”

The Republican opposition was largely centered on the border amendments, such as the modified Laken Riley Act. This would prevent illegal immigrants gaining citizenship or legal standing if found guilty of burglary, theft or shoplifting. Senator Ted Budd, R. N.C., introduced the Laken Riley Act after the House had passed the border bill earlier in the month. The Senate is yet to vote on the legislation.

When the Truth Gets Out

Lt. Gen. Flynn here. I know how to get revenge after what they did to Trump. There’s a Democrat under indictment that we need to defeat, Henry Cuellar. This district is RIPE for the flipping. And given it’s a majority Latino district, I’ve partnered with Latinos for America First to help us get the Republican candidate, Jay Furman, elected this November. Are you on board?

When the Truth Gets Out
1776 Coalition Sponsored

Democrats were reluctant to accept a vote regarding border amendments. However, a bipartisan agreement was reached shortly before midnight, when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D. N.Y.), announced the agreement.

Schumer stated on the Senate floor, “It has been a long and hard day but we just reached an accord to finish the task of funding the Government.” It is good for our country that we reached this bipartisan agreement. “It wasn’t easy but tonight, our perseverance has paid off.”

The Senate’s vote in the eleventh hour came just hours after a short partial shutdown of the government took place at midnight. Now, the legislation is headed to Joe Biden for his signature.

The White House stated that “because federal obligations are tracked and incurred on a daily base, agencies may continue to operate as usual.”

The effects of a partial shutdown were very limited as long as the Senate had passed the six-figure bill over the weekend.

The House voted on Friday 286-134 for the latest appropriations measure, which included funding to the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State, and legislative branch.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, filed a motion during the House vote to remove Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana. But she did not immediately force a vote on his removal. She said her motion was a “warning”, to Johnson who had replaced Kevin McCarthy, then the Speaker of the House (R. Calif.), in October.

Greene claimed that Johnson betrayed his party colleagues by pushing through the $1.2 trillion package of spending to avoid a government shutdown. She wanted to use the $1.2 trillion spending package as a “leverage” to secure the border.

Republicans negotiated a number of provisions that would send more resources to the border. These included funding for 2,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and more ICE beds. The legislation would increase funding at the southern border for technology by 25 percent.

It would also reduce aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, a controversial organization that supports the development and relief of Palestinian refugees. This cut will last until March 25, 2025. This ban was imposed after recent reports claimed that at least 12 UNRWA employees directly took part in Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel, which occurred on October 7.

Johnson, despite intra-party opposition, considered that the policy of the package was a win for conservatives.

Johnson stated that “House Republicans have achieved conservative policy victories, rejected extreme Democrat proposal, and imposed significant cuts while strengthening the national defense.” The process also represented an important step to break the omnibus muscular memory, and the best possible outcome in a divided federal government.

Congress had passed the first halves of the remaining appropriations two weeks earlier. Biden’s $468 billion package included funds for Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and many other federal programs.