OAN Newsroom Correspondent Shannon Kelland
UPDATED 2:02 PM PT – Tuesday, December 20, 2022
The long-awaited Omnibus Spending Bill arrived to the Legislative branch early Tuesday, which is about a $1.7 trillion deal to fund the U.S. government through late 2023.
This piece of legislation began a frantic race on Capitol Hill to approve the package in order to block a government shutdown.
In previous years, it has become a trend to release big funding bills at the last minute. The point of this is to jam both chambers of Congress through a rushed process that eliminates transparency.
Lawmakers have until Friday to reach a decision on the proposed bill and 10 Republicans are needed in order for it to pass. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) made a comment on this during Wednesday’s press briefing.
“I don’t know why any Republican, let alone 10, would want to help them do that in those circumstances,” said Lee,
The proposed bill is 4,155 pages that includes funding for spending priorities of the Biden administration. Priorities being elements of their economic agenda, boosts to defense programs and additional funds to emergency military and economic assistance for Ukraine.
Lawmakers wrote to extend Medicaid benefits, help Americans save for retirement and ban of TikTok for all government devices.
In addition, there is a bipartisan bill called the Electoral Count Act that is to alter the way the country counts the presidential electoral votes. This act is in response to the events that transpired at the Capitol January 6th.
The legislation sought to create a “residential security system program” that will provide more protection to senators when they are not on Capitol grounds. This section proposed $2.5 billion for increased security for officials in D.C. and their home states.
The bill also includes a few million towards security for members of the House. This is thought to be a response to the attack against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband, Paul Pelosi.
Democrats and Republicans struggle to come to a compromise on economic debates and Coronavirus spending. The White House had asked for $22.4 billion to mostly go towards the next round of vaccines and the GOP leaders stand firmly against it.
Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), agreed with Representative Chip Roy’s (R-Texas) tweet where they dug into the proposed bill and its supporters on twitter.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, GOP leaders spoke about how the party wants to put in place a continuing resolution in order to not rush the spending bill and avert a government shutdown. This would allow representatives more time to review the bill and would also give time for the House to shift to a Republican majority in January of 2023.
In contrast, Democratic Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held opposing views to GOP leaders.
“Passing this bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill is undoubtedly in the interest of the American people,” said Leahy.