WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Democrats in Congress unveiled an interim budget until Dec. 16 to fund the federal government, provide aid to Ukraine and help communities cope with recent natural disasters.
To avoid a partial government shutdown, both houses of Congress must approve the resolution by Friday afternoon, the end of the fiscal year. The measure will be the last resort taken by lawmakers ahead of legislative elections in November. Both sides are keen to resolve the issue and campaign, which will reduce the chances of the government going out of the budget.
The proposal calls for $12.3 billion in aid to Ukraine, including training, equipment and direct financial assistance to the Ukrainian government. This will be in addition to the 53,000 million that Congress has already approved in the previous two projects.
The move does not include a White House request for $22 billion to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and $3.9 billion to respond to the monkeypox outbreak. Republicans strongly oppose health care spending. At least 10 Republican senators would have to vote in favor of the measure to bypass legislative hurdles and reach that chamber.
The legislation also includes Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal to streamline energy projects and make it easier to pass gas pipeline projects in his home states of West Virginia and Virginia.
Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, received a promise from President Joe Biden and Democrats to pass a vote on the bill in return for support for legislation to tackle climate change. The leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, has announced that he will include the measure in the budget proposal.
Republicans have come out in favor of streamlining processes for energy projects, but some, including Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, have criticized Munchkin’s proposal. Senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, has said he would vote against the motion if it is included.