Facing a March 11 deadline to approve a final $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 spending bill that would be the first full Biden budget becoming law, the House and Senate voted to send the Omnibus Appropriations Bill to the president for enactment in the early hours of March 11. The Senate approved the measure with sixty-three votes, following House approval a day earlier. Final passage was not without the usual thrills and spills as Senators threatened filibusters over vaccine mandates and additional pandemic aid, among other policy disputes. The bill’s passage marked a significant accomplishment that included the return of congressionally directed project spending after a decade. Because of a revolt among rank and file Members over adding pandemic relief funding, without offsetting the new spending, the congressional leadership pulled an Administration funding request. Instead, Congress is likely to return to the matter in the coming months as it begins to develop a fiscal year 2023 budget.
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