Biden signs $1.7 trillion spending bill – Reuters

US President Joe Biden has signed a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill, averting a government shutdown after weeks of partisan debate. In addition to funding federal agencies, the legislation contains measures banning TikTok on government devices and about $45 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Biden announced the move in a social media post Thursday night while still vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands, saying the bill would cap a « year of historic progress. »

« It will invest in medical research, security, veterans’ health care, disaster recovery, [Violence Against Women Act] funding – and secures crucial aid for Ukraine,” he said.

The bill provides $773 billion for nondefense discretionary spending — 6% more than last year — and $858 billion for the military, an increase of $76 billion from 2021. 45 billion more dollars will go to Ukraine, including $9 billion to train and equip the country’s armed forces, $13 billion in economic aid, $4 billion for refugee relief and $300 million for local police and border guards. Additionally, $687 million will help replenish strained US arms stockpiles, after more than $20 billion in direct aid to kyiv since the Russian military operation began last February.

Federal employees will also be banned from downloading the TikTok app to government devices under the new legislation, after some lawmakers raised privacy concerns about its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance. Echoing other Republicans, Senator Josh Hawley argued that the candidacy raises « a major risk to the security of the United States », saying « Until he is forced to completely sever ties with China, he has no place on government apparatus. »

More than a dozen US states have already blocked or restricted access to TikTok from government computers, and House of Representatives lawmakers have reportedly been tasked with removing the app from more state devices. early this week after the Cybersecurity Office claimed to have identified her. « a number of security risks. »

Dozens of House Republicans had strongly opposed the omnibus spending bill, insisting the vote be delayed until the GOP took control of Congress in January. Due to intense disagreement over several issues, including aid to Ukraine, lawmakers were forced to pass an interim measure to avert a government shutdown last month, but the two sides later came to terms. compromises for $1.7 trillion legislation.

US lawmaker slams ‘blatant’ $1.7 trillion spending bill

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