Joe Biden signs $1.7 trillion government spending bill into law
Washington : US President Joe Biden has signed a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill for the federal government that includes a number of administration priorities and officially avoids a government shutdown, ending what he called a “year of historic progress”.
The legislation will keep the federal government operating through the end of the federal budget year in September 2023 and avoid a partial shutdown before the end of 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.
The massive spending package for fiscal year 2023 includes $772.5 billion for non-defence, domestic programs, and $858 billion in defence funding. It also provides about $45 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia.
“It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, (Violence Against Women Act) funding and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden said in a tweet early Friday. “Looking forward to more in 2023,” he added. Biden signed the bill while vacationing on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.
The bill was flown to him for signing, the White House said. “The White House received the bill from Congress late afternoon on Wednesday. The bill was delivered to the President for his signature by White House staff on a regularly scheduled commercial flight,” CNN quoted an administration official as saying to reporters.
However, hundreds of lawmakers — overwhelmingly Republicans — have opposed the omnibus bill, which runs more than 4,000 pages, with many warning that it could further fuel inflation in the country.
The annual inflation rate for the US is 7.1 per cent for the 12 months ended November 2022, according to Labor Department data published earlier this month. A majority of Americans — 55 pe rcent — say rising prices have caused financial hardship for their household, a Gallup survey showed.
Meanwhile, the bill also left out several measures that some lawmakers had fought to include. An expansion of the child tax credit, as well as multiple other corporate and individual tax breaks, did not make it into the final bill.
Neither did legislation to allow cannabis companies to bank their cash reserves, known as the Safe Banking Act, or a bill to help Afghan evacuees in the US gain lawful permanent residency. The spending package also did not include a White House request for roughly $10 billion in additional funding for Covid-19 response.