The $1.7-Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill Was Advanced by the Senate, Despite Some Republican Opposition


    The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance the $1.7-trillion omnibus spending bill, which is 4,155 pages long. The Senate voted on the motion to move forward on the House message on H.R. 2617, which is the legislative vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

    The motion was passed 70-25, based on strong support for the bill but still with many Senate Republicans opposed to it.

    According to the Senate Press Gallery, the Senate Republicans who voted in favor of the motion to proceed were: “Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Collins, Cornyn, Cotton, Graham, Grassley, Hyde-Smith, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Rounds, Rubio, Shelby, Thune, Tuberville, Wicker, & Young.”

    According to Breitbart, in addition to funding the bill, the omnibus contains:

    • $45 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. This is billions more than the $37 billion Biden requested,
    • $5 billion in earmarks for 3,200 projects,
    • $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health,
    • $1 billion for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid,
    • $600 million to address water issues in Jackson, Mississippi,
    • The Senate version of the Electoral Count Reform Act, which would change the process for lawmakers to object to the certification of the presidential election,
    • Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) push to have a ban on TikTok on government devices,
    • $575 million for “reproductive health” where population growth “threatens biodiversity.”

    The bill also refers to “salmon” or “salmonid” 48 times. 

    Among the billions of earmarks in the bill, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has earmarks totaling $656 million, while Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has $511 million of earmarks for his state. 

    Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Rick Scott (R-FL) railed against the bill. Lee claimed that the leadership was “exploiting” members into backing the omnibus, making use of the threat of a government shutdown.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that providing assistance to Ukraine was the top priority for Republicans, even as America is facing a sharp increase in inflation and a border crisis.

    The Senate will move forward on the bill. McConnell said he hoped to tie it up on Wednesday. Congress will attempt to pass the omnibus by Friday in order to prevent a government shut-down.


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