President Biden signs $1.2 trillion US spending bill

President Joe Biden on Saturday signed into law a $1.2 trillion spending package, keeping the US government funded through a fiscal year that began six months ago, Report informs via Reuters.

Biden described the package, which Congress overwhelmingly passed in the early hours of Saturday, as investing in Americans as well as strengthening the economy and national security. The Democratic president urged Congress to pass other bills stuck in the legislative chambers.

“The House must pass the bipartisan national security supplemental to advance our national security interests,” Biden said in a statement. “And Congress must pass the bipartisan border security agreement, the toughest and fairest reforms in decades, to ensure we have the policies and funding needed to secure the border. It’s time to get this done.”

The Democratic-majority Senate passed the spending bill with a 74-24 vote. Key federal agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury, which houses the Internal Revenue Service, will remain funded through Sept. 30.

But the measure did not include funding for mostly military aid to Ukraine, Taiwan or Israel, which are included in a different Senate-passed bill that the Republican-led House of Representatives has ignored.

The business community welcomed the passage of the spending bill and committed to continue working with policymakers to advance legislation that would enhance tax breaks for businesses and low-income families.

“A fully operational US government provides important stability for American businesses, workers and families,” Business Roundtable CEO Joshua Bolten said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress to advance sound policies, including the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act.”

Senate leaders spent hours on Friday negotiating a number of amendments to the budget bill that ultimately were defeated. The delay pushed passage beyond a Friday midnight deadline.

But the White House Office of Management and Budget issued a statement saying agencies would not be ordered to shut, expressing confidence the Senate would promptly pass the bill, which it did.

While Congress got the job done, deep partisan divides were on display again, as well as bitter disagreement within the House’s narrow and fractious Republican majority. Conservative firebrand Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene threatened to force a vote to remove Speaker Mike Johnson, a fellow Republican, for allowing the measure to pass.

The 1,012-page bill provides $886 billion in funding for the Defense Department, including a raise for US troops.

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