Joe Biden Approves $1.2T Bill Following Senate's Late-Night Vote

Congressional approval triggers GOP backlash, divides party lines.

by Zain ul Abedin
Joe Biden Approves $1.2T Bill Following Senate's Late-Night Vote
© Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Joe Biden endorsed a monumental $1.2 trillion federal expenditure package on Saturday. This move came in the nick of time, merely hours following Congress's passage of the significantly delayed bill, ensuring the government remained operational.

Addressing the nation, President Biden highlighted the essence of compromise embodied in the legislation, stating, “This agreement signifies a compromise, indicating that neither party received everything they desired.

Nonetheless, it averts the severe reductions proposed by House Republicans and instead enhances access to child care, bolsters cancer research, allocates funding for mental health and substance abuse care, reinforces America's global leadership, and secures resources for border security, all of which were vigorously championed by my Administration.

This is undoubtedly positive news for the citizens of America”. The president, spending the weekend at his Wilmington, Delaware residence, put his signature on the bill there, as confirmed by the White House. The journey to finalize government funding stretched over six months of the current fiscal year, hampered by the insistence of conservative factions on the integration of more policy stipulations and significant budget cuts than what the Democratic-controlled Senate or the White House would entertain.

This deadlock necessitated multiple interim spending bills to ensure uninterrupted government operations.

House Passes Bill Amid GOP Dissent

The House of Representatives achieved a two-thirds majority in favor of the spending package, with 286 votes for and 134 against, a decision that sparked ire among the more conservative members of the Republican Party.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed her discontent, labeling the bill a "betrayal of Republican voters," critiquing its provisions that seemingly forced Republicans into a corner—choosing between military funding and supporting late-term abortion, a scenario she described as fulfilling a Democratic wish list.

Following her statement, Rep. Greene initiated a motion for a no-confidence vote against House Speaker Mike Johnson. With the Senate's approval secured by a 74-24 vote in the early hours of Saturday, the path was cleared for the government's operational continuity, extending until the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2024 on September 30th.

This legislative milestone arrived on the heels of an impending shutdown, with government funding lapsing at midnight before the Senate's decisive vote. However, a swift notification from the White House post-deadline indicated the Office of Management and Budget had halted shutdown procedures, buoyed by strong confidence in the bill's passage and subsequent enactment.

The finalized package, encompassing full-year appropriations for various departments including Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, and the Interior, and later, Defense, Homeland Security, and State, alongside other general government aspects, sets discretionary spending for the budget year at approximately $1.66 trillion, exclusive of entitlement programs and national debt financing.

Joe Biden