US Congress to vote on 2022 budget

The US Congress is expected to vote today on the budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The vote comes as

US Congress to vote on 2022 budget Photo: House TV

The US Congress is expected to vote today on the budget for the 2022 fiscal year.

The vote comes as temporary funding for the government expires on March 11. Since September, Congress has been at budgetary loggerheads, opting to pass a series of short-term spending bills.

Despite bipartisan desire to finally pass a long-term budget, the Senate is likely to avert a shutdown by passing another short-term spending plan because of newly requested amendments. Last week, the White House asked that the budget include an additional $32.5 billion, two thirds of which is earmarked for boosting COVID testing and vaccination. The other third, or some $10 billion, is intended to respond to the Ukrainian war by deploying troops to European NATO countries and enhancing intelligence capabilities.

While there is general bipartisan consensus on the Ukraine issue, Congress is still split on spending more for the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans are wary of continuing to borrow money when unused funds from last year’s pandemic recovery act still linger.

Desperate to boost their approval ahead of midterms later this year, Democrats are somewhat likely to make concessions on boosting COVID aid, but additional assistance to Ukraine is a near certainty.

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