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Biden expected to sign $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package with millions earmarked for local projects

WASHINGTON D.C., March 11, 2022 – Last night, on a bi-partisan 68-31 vote, the U.S. Senate passed the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package for fiscal year 2022. The bipartisan package funds the government through September 2022, invests in Northwest Washington communities, and provides $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.

Patty Murray - Wikipedia
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the passage of the spending package which is heading to President Joe Biden for signature.

“My job is making sure that Washington state’s priorities are the federal government’s priorities, so whether that’s getting more money for childcare and Pell Grants, or making sure the federal government is living up to its obligations to the Hanford community—that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for every single day in the other Washington,” said Senator Murray.

She was most proud that the package includes:

  • A 2.7% raise for Washington state servicemembers.
  • Funding to Washington state public schools
  • Historic funding for Head Start Programs and a $400 annual increase in the maximum Pell Grant for students.
  • A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that includes Senator Murray’s Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act.
  • $2.595 billion for the cleanup of the Hanford site—notably, this is $128 million above the President’s Budget Request.
  • Funding for projects greenlit by the Bipartisan Infrastructure law to create jobs in Washington state.

According to the press release, Senator Murray secured more than $113 million in direct funding for local community projects throughout Washington state. A full list of those projects can be found HERE.

House Passage of the Omnibus Spending Package

United States Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)
United States Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)

On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed the omnibus spending package with two separate votes. The first vote included $782 billion in funding for the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security and other national security priorities which passed with a 361-69 vote. The second vote, 260-171, adopted $730 billion in provisions related to domestic programs.

The House used a process known as “dividing the question” to hold two votes on the 1.5 trillion omnibus spending package, but the separate passed pieces were joined into a single package when the measure was sent to the Senate.

“My priority in shaping spending bills is to invest in local communities to create well-paying jobs and provide vital services in Northwest Washington,” said Larsen. “This spending bill makes those critical investments while also supporting a sovereign and independent Ukraine, reauthorizing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, lowering costs for working families, protecting Washington’s environment and investing in vital infrastructure.”

Congressman Larsen secured $10,662,665 for ten Second District projects local leaders and stakeholders identified as critical to their communities:

What is in the omnibus spending package

According to summaries and fact sheets provided by the House Appropriations Committee, here’s what some of the money will fund:

  • $774.4 million for congressional offices to recruit and retain a diverse workforce (21% increase)
  • $18.2 million to pay interns
  • $602.5 million for the Capitol Police (17% increase)
  • $12.6 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (5.6% increase)
  • $75 million for election security grants
  • $20 million for operating expenses to the Election Assistance Commission
  • $17.5 billion for high-poverty K-12 schools (6.3% increase)
  • $11 billion for Head Start (increase of 2.7%)
  • $45 billion to National Institutes of Health for biomedical and behavioral research (5.3% increase)
  • $26.9 billion in funding for child nutrition programs (7% increase)
  • $53.7 billion to Department of Housing and Urban Development (8% increase)
  • $2.6 billion to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (29% increase)
  • $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine

What the omnibus did not cover

Not included in the 2022 omnibus spending package is $15.6 billion for pandemic response efforts after Republican representatives requested it be removed. Republicans are asking to see the “full accounting” of what has already been spent on the pandemic before they would support any new funding.

House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, introduced a stand-alone bill with the pandemic response funds which is expected to be voted on in the House next week. However, it is unclear that the bill will get the 60 required votes to pass the Senate.

For more information on the FY2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act, click here and here.

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