Spending bill OKs money for Ukraine, but what was left behind?

Politics

FILE – The sun rises behind the Capitol in Washington, early Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. Congressional leaders have unveiled a $1.7 trillion spending package early Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, that includes another large round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% boost in defense spending and roughly $40 billon to assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(NewsNation) — Russian shells pummeled the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Saturday, killing at least 10 people and injuring 55.

On Christmas Eve, it’s another stark reminder of why the U.S. continues to funnel weapons, aid and money into Ukraine.

It’s an attack President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned was coming ahead of the holiday.

In the face of it, Zelenskyy remains defiant.

“No kamikaze drones can extinguish the Christmas dawn,” Zelenskyy said. “We will see its glow even underground, in a bomb shelter. … And our fight will continue.”

Two days after Zelenskyy’s address to a joint meeting of Congress, lawmakers approved the $1.7 trillion, year-end spending bill, sending $45 billion more to Ukraine.

The package also authorized $858 billion in military spending and $770 billion in domestic funding for items such as education, health care and veterans.

This, along with billions for local and state projects.

“Vote yes to fulfill our duty to the American people, to our nation’s funding principles,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “Vote yes to keep our government open and serving the people.”

Also noteworthy is what was left out of the spending bill, perhaps a roadmap for initiatives Congress will work on in the new year.

Left out of the $1.7 trillion, the year-end spending bill was a measure to protect Afgan refugees in the U.S. from being deported. This is despite some of the refugees having aided the U.S. military.

A child tax credit for parents was also left out of the spending bill as well as an immigration deal to both protect dreamers from deportation and provide funds for border security and the extension of Title 42 to address the migrant surge at the border.

Lastly, a measure allowing marijuana businesses to use legitimate banking systems was left on Congress’ cutting room floor.

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