Mar 11, 2022

What's Inside the $1.5 Trillion Spending Bill Biden is Expected To Sign?

To avoid a government shutdown, the president is expected to sign a trillion-dollar spending bill covering aid to Ukraine and an increase in the IRS budget, among many other things.
What's Inside the $1.5 Trillion Spending Bill Biden is Expected To Sign?
Photo by Cameron Smith / Unsplash

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President Joe Biden must (and is expected to) sign the bill by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Notables:

  • $13.6 billion to Ukraine
  • $17.5 billion for high-poverty K-12 schools
  • $1.45 billion to the southern border. Money will go to medical care for migrants and funding nonprofits that help migrants.
  • $3.2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • $675 million increase for IRS budget
  • $600 million to U.S. Capitol Police (an increase of $87 million)
  • House staff budgets for salaries went up 21%

Earmarks return: Earmarks allow members of Congress to allocate federal resources to fund projects in their home districts. It's easier to get bipartisan support for bills when representatives can add provisions that personally benefit them.

  • While conservatives fought against bringing earmarks back, the efforts led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi ultimately presided.

Some examples

  • $1.6 million for developing “equitable growth of shellfish aquaculture industry” in Rhode Island.
  • $945,000 for Oregon kelp forest survey.
  • $500,000 for a diversity and inclusion program at Worcester State University.
  • $2.5 million for biking trails in Vermont.
  • $1,979,000 for a climate center at George Mason University.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) reportedly got over 150 earmarks, nearing around $258 million in funding for his district.

Big picture: "Congressional directed spending” is back after a decade. And a large chunk of the $1.5 trillion bill sitting on Biden's desk will fund personal projects of representatives, as well as Ukrainian aid and the IRS.

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