Highlights of the $1.5 trillion spending package passed by Congress
House and Senate leaders are racing against the clock to enact a massive $1.5 trillion legislative package that would finance the federal government for the remainder of the year while also delivering desperately needed humanitarian relief to Ukraine.
The law provides $730 billion for domestic programs, which is the greatest increase in four years, as well as $782 billion for defense, the largest increase in four years. It also includes emergency funding for Ukraine and its European partners, as well as other provisions.
The White House had requested that the bill contain $15.6 billion for the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was previously included in the package. However, that money was taken away on Wednesday afternoon when House Democrats refused to limit pandemic support to their states, which had previously been approved.
The following are some of the highlights of the more than 2,700-page law, which the House approved on Wednesday night and which the Senate is anticipated to ratify in the coming days:
HELPING THE REPUBLIC OF UKRAINE
A supplementary budget package is included in the law, which provides $13.6 billion in emergency financing to help Ukrainian defense, aid, and humanitarian initiatives in the short term.
The total includes $43.6 million for the FBI to investigate cyber risks and cryptocurrency operations, as well as the development of a “Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative” to recover assets from those who have violated international sanctions.
EXPENDITURE ON INFRASTRUCTURE
The Rural Development Program, which invests more than $550 million in the expansion of broadband connectivity, receives over $4 billion in federal funding. This is an addition to the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in November and is expected to be implemented immediately.
FUNDING FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY AND THE IRS
The appropriations bill allocates $14.3 billion to the Treasury Department, with $12.6 billion going to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), marking the greatest increase in spending for the tax agency since 2001. According to the White House, the agency is not equipped to provide services to taxpayers.
SPENDING ON CRIME
According to the legislation, the Department of Justice will get $35.2 billion in total financing; this includes $10.77 billion in additional FBI spending and a $506.4 million increase in grants to state and local law enforcement.
Customs and Border Protection will receive $14.8 billion in funding, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement will receive $8.26 billion. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will receive $409.5 million to address backlogs and delays at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
EPA would receive a total of $9.56 billion while the Department of Energy would receive $44.9 billion under the proposed legislation.
Notably, the budget plan contains $100 million to support environmental justice programs, representing an increase of $83 million over the level set by law for the fiscal year 2021. Environmental justice is concerned with concerns of equality and pollution that have an impact on marginalized populations.
STAMPS FOR FOOD
Over 42 million people would benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would receive $140.4 billion in needed annual spending, including $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund. The program provides food assistance to low-income families in need.
SPENDING ON DEFENSE
The bill allocates $782 billion for defense spending, representing a $32.5 billion increase above the amount allocated for the fiscal year 2021.