Monday, November 28

Partial government shutdown averted as House passes spending bill

WASHINGTON – The House Friday passed a bill to keep the federal government open through Dec. 16, hours before a partial shutdown would have kicked in at midnight and only weeks before the midterm elections.

The vote was 230-2 with a handful of Republicans joining Democrats in support of the bill. measure, which passed the Senate 72-25 Thursdayheads to President Joe Biden for his signature.

It includes $12.4 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine on a day when Russian President Russian Putin falsely proclaimed four Ukrainian regions were now part of Russia. It sets aside billions more for disaster relief as Florida weathers the devastating wallop packed by Hurricane Ian.

“We in Congress have a responsibility to the American people to keep the lights on,” Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., said on the House floor before the vote. “In addition to preventing the furlough of thousands of federal employees, averting a shutdown will also ensure that our constituents can continue to receive the vital government services that they need.”

Hurricane aid, help for Ukraine, assistance to families for heating bills

The bill’s provisions include:

  • $18.8 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, in part to help with recovery needs from Hurricane Ian, a category four storm that has so far left at least 21 dead and inflicted widespread damage.
  • $12.4 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion in economic assistance and $3 billion for military equipment, training, and weapons
  • $2.5 billion to support recovery from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico.
  • $2 billion in Community Development Block Grants to help communities experiencing major disasters in 2021 and 2022, including Kentucky, Missouri and Puerto Rico.
  • $1 billion to assist low-income families cover heating bills.
  • $20 million for previously authorized water infrastructure projects to help address the crisis in Jackson, Miss.
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