Senate passes $1.7 trillion government funding bill that overhauls U.S. election law

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-passes-17-trillion-government-funding-bill-overhauls-us-electio-rcna62607#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16717416621287&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fcongress%2Fsenate-passes-17-trillion-government-funding-bill-overhauls-us-electio-rcna62607

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WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to pass a $1.7 trillion government funding bill, sending it to the House to avoid a holiday shutdown.

The vote was 68-29 on sweeping legislation that will keep the government funded through next fall and overhaul election laws in an attempt to prevent another Jan. 6. It came after votes on a potpourri of amendments, including landmark workplace protections for pregnant and breastfeeding employees.

The bill also includes nearly $45 billion of additional military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

“A lot of hard work, a lot of compromise, but we funded the government with an aggressive investment in American families, American workers, American national defense,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters moments after the legislation passed. “It’s one of the most significant appropriations packages we’ve done in a really long time.”

The bill now heads to the House, which has one more day to pass it before a government shutdown on Friday at midnight. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier that “our hope” was that the House would pass the bill on Thursday night given the severe winter storms putting lawmakers’ travel plans in jeopardy before the holidays.

After it passes the House, the legislation goes to President Joe Biden, who has indicated he will sign it into law.

The legislation has divided the Republican Party, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky endorsing it and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California pushing to torpedo it as he courts right-wing votes to become speaker.

“This is an impressive outcome for the Republican negotiators,” McConnell said, praising the bill’s defense spending increases relative to domestic nondefense funding as a victory for the GOP.

The bill overcame a last-minute snag late Wednesday over a GOP-demanded amendment to keep the Trump-era Title 42 border policy in place. Democrats agreed to hold a vote on their amendment, alongside a Democratic alternative amendment. Both failed, and the delicate coalition for the bill stayed intact. But other amendments were approved.


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