The Senate advanced on Tuesday a stop-gap spending bill that allocates $12 billion in aid to Ukraine and $3 billion for Afghan resettlement.
The Senate voted to invoke cloture on the legislative vehicle for the continuing resolution (CR), a stop-gap spending bill that would continue to fund the federal government until December 16.
The Senate invoked cloture 72-23, featuring strong Republican and Democrat support for the motion.
The legislation, among other things, would provide:
- $12.3 billion in economic and military aid to Ukraine
- $1 billion for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
- $2.5 billion in funding for New Mexico to recover from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire
- $20 million for water infrastructure in Jackson, Mississippi
- a five-year reauthorization of FDA user fees
- $3 billion for the State Department to facilitate Afghan resettlement, and the FBI would receive $15 million to vet Afghan refugees
- $35 million to prepare and respond to “potential and radiological incidents in Ukraine”
The White House released a statement voicing its strong support for the CR.
The White House said in a statement on Tuesday:
H.R. 6833 would provide over $12 billion to continue to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty with security and economic assistance through the first quarter of FY 2023. The people of Ukraine have inspired the world, and the Administration remains committed to supporting the Ukrainian people as they continue to stand resolute and display extraordinary courage in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
The Administration also appreciates that the Congress continues to support resettlement from Afghanistan in order to ensure that the United States is able to fulfill its promises and commitments to its Afghan allies and partners.
However, the White House was “extremely concerned” that the bill had no additional funding to combat the coronavirus.
However, the legislation no longer includes Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Energy Independence and Security Act, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) promised he would include in the CR as part of his support for the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill would have expedited federal government environmental reviews of natural gas and oil development.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a vocal opponent of Manchin’s proposal, cheered the removal of Manchin’s bill. He said;
I want to congratulate the groups and organizations who made clear that we do not need more fossil fuel projects that would substantially increase carbon emissions. The removal of the big oil side deal is a victory for the planet and a major loss for the fossil fuel industry.
Senate Republicans also opposed the measure as they preferred Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) alternative bill.
Now that the Senate invoked cloture on the legislative vehicle for the CR, the Senate will take up the bill for a full vote later this week. After that, the House will vote on the bill, which will likely occur on Friday.