WASHINGTON (NBC) – The House of Representatives voted Friday to end Mass The $1.7 trillion government funding billsending it to President Joe Biden and marking the end of two years of Democratic control of both houses of Congress.
The package includes a substantial increase in military spending and nearly $45 billion aid to Ukraine. He is revising the federal election law on the revision of the Act on the counting of elections of 1887 to try to prevent the next January 6th. The bill also funds a number of domestic programs, averting a shutdown and keeping the government funded until next fall.
The vote was 225 to 201.
“We have a big bill here because we have big needs for our country,” said outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “At the same time — please put a penny in the old man’s hat — we are addressing the needs of America’s working families, with a special focus on our children.”
The legislation passed the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 68-29. Biden championed it and is expected to sign it into law.
The measure was negotiated by Democratic leaders and top Republicans in the Senate, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kyiv. It revealed a sharp split between Republicans in the two chambers, and House GOP leaders scrambled to torpedo it.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., criticized the legislation and its drafting process, calling it “a slap in the face to every American who voted” to elect a Republican majority to the House in 2022.
“It’s terrible,” he said before the vote, arguing that too much was being spent. “This is one of the most shameful acts I have ever seen.”
“You have done nothing but put politics before the American people. So you know what? They fired you. They fired you,” he said, declaring that the bill contained “money for everyday life.”
And the rhetoric became hotter. Representative Scott Perry, a member of the right-wing caucus of the Republican Party, said Democrats are “destroying our country.”
The differences portend a difficult two years for Republicans as they control a paper-thin House majority and face a Democratic-led Senate and a Biden presidency.
The bill’s election overhaul would make it clear that the vice president cannot count electoral votes, and the measure would raise the threshold against counting them from one member of each chamber to one-fifth of each chamber.
Democrats wanted a broader package of election and voting laws, but were limited by Senate rules that required a minimum of 10 Republican votes to defeat a filibuster.
“It’s a good step,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 special committee, said in an interview. “I want to abolish the Electoral College, and I want to overhaul the Voting Rights Act, and I want criminal penalties for intimidation of poll workers. So I think that would be a strong way to go. But I don’t mind saying that the vice president can’t run away with the ball and declare the loser the winner.”
U an interviewMcConnell told NBC News that it was “extremely important” for him to increase military spending over non-defense domestic spending, calling it important to countering China.
“Not only did we need to help Ukraine, we also needed, as part of the defense budget, to dramatically increase it so that the base level next year would be even bigger,” McConnell, D-Kyiv, said Wednesday. “Over the past few years, we’ve spent a lot of money on domestic priorities. Some of them are justified during the pandemic. But the current emergency is not here, it is there.”
McConnell too admitted his disagreements over the bill with McCarthy, who is courting right-wing GOP votes to become House speaker in a few weeks.
“I have a very good relationship with McCarthy, but he is difficult to play,” McConnell said. “We all want him to succeed and hope he does.”