US Senate Advances Short-Term Spending Bill To Avert Shutdown, Provide More Ukraine Aid

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th September, 2022) The US Senate advanced a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown on October 1 and provide some $12 billion in additional security and economic assistance to Ukraine.

The Senate voted 72-23 on Tuesday evening to limit debate on the short-term spending bill that will keep the Federal government operational through December 16.

Lawmakers have until October 1 to pass legislation funding the government or risk a shutdown. The continuing appropriations bill is intended to give Congress more time to pass an omnibus budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The bill provides $4.5 billion in economic assistance for Kiev, $3 billion in security aid, $2.8 billion towards operations in US European Command, $1.5 billion to replenish US weapons stocks, $540 million to increase critical munitions production, $35 million for nuclear incident preparedness in Ukraine, and $2 million for an Inspector General report on Ukraine assistance monitoring.

The bill requires 60 votes to get through the Senate, a feat that initially appeared unlikely given Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's call for Republicans to block its passage due to the presence of energy permitting reform measures included by Senator Joe Manchin.

During remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday, McConnell called the measure a "poison pill" within the legislation and urged Republican colleagues to vote against the bill. Later on Tuesday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Manchin agreed to move forward on a stopgap bill without the measure.

The Biden administration supports passage of the continuing resolution despite not including public health funding for monkeypox and COVID-19 response as the White House requested from Congress. The administration also looks forward to working with Congress to pass a full-year appropriations bill, the White House said on Tuesday.