Swamp Wins: Senate Approves $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Narrowly Averting Gov't Shutdown 

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Mar 23, 2024 - 12:45 PM

A partial US government shutdown was averted in the wee hours of Saturday morning as the Senate approved a $1.2 trillion spending package. The measure will now go to President Biden's desk later today.

The passage of the 1,012-page bill (did any lawmakers actually read the whole thing?) in a 74 to 24 vote concludes several months of drama on Capitol Hill centered around Republicans demanding deeper spending cuts as the federal government spends like drunken sailors, with the national debt recently skyrocketing to over $34.578 trillion.

The legislation provides 75% of the federal government funding for the coming six months. It includes measures to increase military salaries, eliminate funding to the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees, and enhance security along the southern border. 

The bill passed shortly after the 12:01 a.m. deadline, indicating that some federal funding expired, but the White House budget office said it would not declare a shutdown.

On Friday, the House passed the pork-filled bill by a vote of 286-134, with 112 Republicans and 22 Democrats against. The bipartisan deal was the result of an agreement between the president, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). 

"It's been a long day, a long week, a very long few months, but tonight we have funded the government," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., NY). 

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wrote in a statement, "We have finally passed all twelve bills to fund the government—and I'm proud to be sending a $1 billion increase in funding for child care and early learning programs to President Biden's desk." 

The Senate Appropriations Committee highlighted what it believes are the top things in the $1.2 trillion funding package: 

  • Lowers child care costs for families and strengthens Head Start with a new $1 billion investment to help families in every zip code afford child care and help ensure Head Start can continue serving hundreds of thousands of kids each year.

  • Protects workers' rights and helps ensure they get the paychecks they have earned by protecting funding for essential worker protection agencies and the National Labor Relations Board.

  • Invests in students at every stage of their education and sustains essential investments in our nation's public schools by delivering resources for our public K-12 schools, Pell Grants, and more—and rejecting devastating cuts that would have forced teachers out of our nation's K-12 classrooms.

  • Keeps our country safe and supports our servicemembers and military families with essential investments in our national defense and important additional support for those who serve our country in uniform.

  • Builds on our historic economic recovery and supports small businesses.

  • Supports people's health, strengthens the health care workforce, and guards against public health threats, rejecting dangerous cuts and sustaining all manner of investments in patients' health.

  • Propels cutting-edge biomedical research to discover and create new treatments and cures that save lives and give people more time with their loved ones.

  • Invests in mental health care and research and strengthens the 988 lifeline—sustaining and building upon key investments made in recent years.

  • Protects consumers and holds fraudsters and rich tax cheats accountable to help even the playing field and keep growing our economy from the middle out.

  • Combats the flow of fentanyl, strengthens our detection and enforcement capabilities, and invests in substance use disorder treatment and prevention to address the opioid crisis that continues to devastate communities.

  • Delivers critical resources to help meet operational needs at our southern border.

  • Maintains America's global leadership and upholds our commitments to our allies and partners to promote our own national security and strengthen our competitiveness.

  • Supports our Afghan allies by authorizing an additional 12,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Afghans who assisted the US government during the war in Afghanistan.

  • Increases base funding for humanitarian assistance to support the United States' efforts to provide emergency food, shelter, water, and basic services to populations caught in conflict and crises across the globe.

Meanwhile, Rep. Chip Roy (R., TX). said the swamp wins again: "We have a thousand-page bill of $1.2 trillion dollars—a bill filled with all manners of spending priorities that are at odds with the American people. That's what we have in front of us."

"It's a sad, disappointing day. Republicans promised to spend less and secure the border," said Rep. Warren Davidson (R., OH), adding, "This bill does neither."

Reckless swamp spending is raising the national debt by $1 trillion every 100 days and pushing America even closer to financial ruin.