Highlights of Congress’ $1.5 trillion spending package

March 10, 2022 GMT
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, arrives to speak to reporters about the Russian invasion of Ukraine following a Democratic strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, arrives to speak to reporters about the Russian invasion of Ukraine following a Democratic strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, arrives to speak to reporters about the Russian invasion of Ukraine following a Democratic strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, arrives to speak to reporters about the Russian invasion of Ukraine following a Democratic strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, arrives to speak to reporters about the Russian invasion of Ukraine following a Democratic strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is racing to pass a mammoth $1.5 trillion legislative package that would fund the government for the rest of the year and deliver badly needed humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The legislation includes $730 billion for domestic programs, the largest increase in four years, along with $782 billion for defense. It also includes emergency funding for Ukraine and European allies.

At the request of the White House, the bill had initially included $15.6 billion for the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that money was stripped out on Wednesday afternoon when House Democrats balked at cutting previously approved pandemic assistance to their states.

Highlights from the more than 2,700-page legislation, which the House approved Wednesday night and the Senate was expected to pass in the days ahead:

AIDING UKRAINE

The legislation contains a supplemental spending bill which provides $13.6 billion in emergency funding to support Ukrainian defense, aid and humanitarian efforts. The tally includes $43.6 million for the FBI to investigative cyber threats and cryptocurrency activities and for the establishment of a “Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative,” for violators of sanctions.

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INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING

Nearly $4 billion is included for rural development programs, which invests over $550 million in the expansion of broadband service. This is an addition to the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that became law last November.

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TREASURY AND IRS FUNDING

The funding bill provides $14.3 billion to the Treasury Department, including $12.6 billion devoted to the IRS, which is the largest increase to the tax agency since 2001. The White House has said the agency has not been equipped to serve taxpayers.

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CRIME SPENDING

The measure dedicates $35.2 billion overall for the Department of Justice, which includes FBI funding of $10.77 billion and a $506.4 million increase in grants to state and local law enforcement.

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IMMIGRATION

The bill provides $14.8 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and $8.26 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and $409.5 million to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to address USCIS backlogs and delays.

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ENVIRONMENT

The Environmental Protection Agency would receive a total of $9.56 billion and the Department of Energy would get $44.9 billion. Notably, the spending bill includes $100 million to bolster environmental justice activities, an $83 million increase above the 2021 enacted level. Environmental justice addresses equity and pollution issues that impact marginalized communities.

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FOOD STAMPS

The bill provides $140.4 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP, including $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, which would be used by more than 42 million people. The program provides food aid to needy families.

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DEFENSE SPENDING

The bill provides $782 billion for defense spending, an increase of $32.5 billion above fiscal year 2021.