(DCWatchdog.com) – Angering many fiscal conservatives, the U.S. Senate has passed the Democrats’ massive omnibus spending bill worth $1.7 trillion with the help of 18 Republican senators.
The controversial 4,155-page legislation was approved by the Senate on Thursday afternoon with 68 votes in favor and 29 against.
The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to follow up today with its vote on the bill, with President Joe Biden seeking to sign it into law before Friday night to avoid a government shutdown. Breitbart News reported that members of the Senate voted on the omnibus bill in a hurry as Washington, DC, was bracing for horrible weather, which could hinder their plans to go home for Christmas.
“From start to finish — from top to bottom — this omnibus is bold, generous, far-reaching and ambitious,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated after the vote.
“It’s not everything we would’ve wanted, of course. When you’re dealing in a bipartisan, bicameral way, you have to sit down and get it done, and that means each side has to concede some things,” he told reporters.
Some Republican lawmakers attempted to prevent the Senate vote on the omnibus spending bill.
GOP U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah threw the bill talks in disarray Wednesday by proposing an amendment on Title 42, the Trump-era policy for expelling illegal immigrants.
Lee’s proposal could have led to a standoff between Democrats, raising hopes among the bill’s critics that the legislation would not be voted in time. That way, the U.S. Congress would pass only a short-term spending resolution so the U.S. government would remain open.
However, Senate Majority Leader Schumer prevented that outcome using a procedural tactic. Together with Sen. John Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), he put forth a side-by-side amendment, which gave ten senators a “political cover” for ignoring the Title 42 amendment proposed by Lee.
The ten U.S. senators who supported the alternative amendment, including some whose seats will be up for grabs in the 2024 election – including Sens. Sinema, Tester, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Before the vote, Schumer told reporters his procedural move would enable the passage of the spending bill, allowing senators to go home for Christmas.
The Christmas deadline was “self-imposed” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who supported the omnibus bill.
The top Senate Republican praised the legislation for allocating $45 billion in additional aid to Ukraine.
For ten months now, Ukraine has been fighting the aggression of Putin’s Russia, one of the top two American enemies for several decades and the only country capable of threatening America’s destruction through a nuclear attack.
“Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans. That’s sort of how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment,” McConnell said earlier this week.
SWAMP: The $1.7 trillion omnibus bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68-29 on Thursday afternoon. Eighteen Republicans voted for the 4,155-page bill just released days ago. https://t.co/dZINvyoEaE
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 22, 2022