Bipartisan $1.7T Bill Seeks to Avoid US Govt Shutdown

    Bipartisan $1.7T Bill Seeks to Avoid US Govt Shutdown
    Last updated Dec 20, 2022
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    • A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill has unveiled a $1.7T funding package for the 2023 fiscal year that seeks to avert a government shutdown. A shutdown is set to occur on Friday if the bill fails to pass.[1]
    • The sprawling legislation includes a 10% increase to defense spending, with $858B secured, and $772B for non-military domestic programs, amounting to a 5% boost. Additional pandemic aid requested by the Biden admin. was among the programs left out.[2]
    • The bill, announced Tuesday, is expected to pass a Senate vote before being sent to the House for approval, and then to Pres. Biden for his signature. The general sentiment among lawmakers is that the bill will be passed in time, but frustrations about transparency have also been expressed given the rushed timeframe.[1]
    • The bill also includes a reform of the 1887 Electoral Count Act. The much-discussed ban of TikTok on federal devices is also included.[3]
    • Democratic lawmakers are touting inclusions such as increased funding for veterans' healthcare. Meanwhile, Republicans are claiming victory over keeping domestic spending under the rate of inflation.[4]
    • At least ten Republican senators are needed to pass the bill before it's sent to the Democratic-controlled House, and while GOP opposition has been voiced against the efforts to pass the 4K page bill on short notice, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed confidence in the passage of the legislation.[5]


    Republican narrative

    While increased funding for the military and checks on wasteful domestic spending ought to be applauded, the GOP should not have supported the passage of this bloated bill that was rammed through a lame-duck Democratic session. While it wouldn't be pretty, a government shutdown would be preferable if it means that the incoming Republican-controlled House can save Americans from Biden's unchecked wastefulness.

    Democratic narrative

    The passing of this legislation would be a big win for democracy, as the bipartisan reform of the Electoral Count Act would stop Trump and other reckless leaders from attempting to undermine the Constitution, making the nation safer from tyranny in the process. Democrats should celebrate securing funding for the US's allies overseas, government programs for everyday Americans, and, most importantly, passing a budget before obstructionist Republicans take control of the House.

    Cynical narrative

    In a skillful piece of political theater, both Democrats and Republicans get to declare victory for an enormous, inflationary spending bill. Taxpayers will have to pick up the tab. 4,000 pages of spending increases rammed through both houses. These mountains of cash are being shoveled into bloated government agencies with reckless abandon as irrelevant policy measures are snuck into a piece of legislation no lawmaker will actually read.

    Political split



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