US’ $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill

The US House has recently passed a 1.7 trillion USD spending bill to fund federal agencies through September to avoid the partial government shutdown.

What is an omnibus spending bill?

An omnibus spending bill is a type of Bill in the United States that brings together smaller ordinary appropriations bills into single large bill that can be passed with only one vote in each house. Twelve different ordinary appropriation bills need to be passed each year to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown. An omnibus spending bill integrates 2 or more of these bills into a single bill.

What are the key takeaways of the recent spending bill?

  • Defence spending: Troops are expected to get 4.6 percent pay rise. The VA medical care budget has been increased by 22.4 percent. This will help armed personnel, veterans and their families weather the crises caused by inflation and have broader access to medical and housing services. Spending on naval ships and fighter jets has also been increased
  • Ukraine war: a massive 27.9 billion USD has been allocated as a defence aid to Ukraine that is currently facing war against Russia.
  • Childcare: The Child Care and Development Block is receiving a 30 percent increase in funding. The budget for Head Start has been increased by 8.6 percent (12 billion USD). These initiatives will help lower income families have access to childcare and prepare for school.
  • Changes in retirement rules: The bill contains several changes to the retirement rules like the need for auto-enrollment, increasing the minimum age for mandatory withdrawals from 72 to 75 years etc.
  • Utility bill: With the energy bills increasing, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program will provide a total of 6 billion USD to help low income households to cover the cost of heating and cooling.
  • Housing: The homeless assistance grants have been increased by 13 percent. This means that an additional $3.6 billion will be provided to benefit over 1 million people. Over 6.4 million USD has been allocated to the community development programme to help in the economic growth of low and middle-income neighbourhoods. An additional 5 billion USD has been allocated to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to help in the construction of up to 10,000 new housing units.
  • Environment: The funding for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been increased to strengthen the environmental regulations and ensure the effective management of hazardous wastes. Additional funding has also been provided for National Park Services to support the wildland firefighting.




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