The House of Representatives voted to approve a $1.5. trillion spending bill that funds the government through Sept. 30 and includes $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine amid the war with Russia.
The defense portion passed by a vote of 361-69, and the domestic portion passed by a vote of 260-171 with one present vote.
The House voted after months of stalling and debate as Congress faced a Friday deadline to approve government funding or risk a shutdown.
In an earlier version of the bill released early Wednesday morning, there was a $15 billion appropriation for pandemic relief. But because of internal friction among Democrats and opposition from Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was forced to push back the expected vote on the package and remove the COVID-19 funds.
As a result, Democrats missed their planned departure to Philadelphia on Wednesday for a conference retreat. Members told Fox News Digital that delays surrounding the bill had to do with major concerns about coronavirus funding, as well as defense spending levels and the short amount of time to review the contents of the 2,741-page measure just hours before they were expected to approve it.
“It is heartbreaking to remove the COVID funding, and we must continue to fight for urgently needed COVID assistance, but unfortunately that will not be included in this bill,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a Wednesday letter to her fellow Democrats.
“Because of Republican insistence — and the resistance by a number of our Members to making those offsets — we will go back to the Rules Committee to remove COVID funding and accommodate the revised bill. We must proceed with the omnibus today, which includes emergency funding for Ukraine and urgent funding to meet the needs of America’s families.”
Some members said they were very upset that states that California and New York were protected from the plan to offset the spending from other states. Republicans insisted that there be spending offsets in the legislation which meant that some COVID-19 spending was to be paid for with cuts to previously approved coronavirus aid to certain states.