(NewsGlobal.com)- A $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that includes several administration priorities and successfully averts a government shutdown was signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, capping off what he called “a year of historical progress.”
In a tweet, Biden stated that the funding would go toward “medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, (Violence Against Women Act) funding, and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine.”
“Looking forward to more in 2023,” he continued.
While on vacation in the US Virgin Islands’ St. Croix, Biden signed the legislation. According to the White House, the bill was flown to him for signature.
A staff member already scheduled to travel to the region in May carried the bill authorizing approximately $40 billion in aid to Ukraine.
The spending bill is the last chance for Biden and Democrats to influence government spending before Republicans take control of the House the following week. It brings to an end for Biden two years of legislation with a House majority. It included a Covid-19 relief package, an infrastructure bill, and a measure to boost competitiveness with China.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, stated this week that talks had “reached a bipartisan, bicameral framework that should allow us to finish an omnibus appropriations bill that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the president.” Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chief Republican negotiator, expressed confidence that the upper chamber would complete the agreement before the deadline the following week.
The agreement was reached amid a disagreement with the GOP over whether to wait until the party takes control of the House in January to pressure Democrats into making concessions. Although many Republican lawmakers disagree and have accused the Kentucky Republican of “coercing” them to support the package, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has claimed that the current compromise is likely the best agreement the party can negotiate.