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U.S. Lawmakers Work to Prevent Shutdown

FILE: The exterior of the U.S. Capitol is seen at sunset in Washington, Dec. 13, 2022.
FILE: The exterior of the U.S. Capitol is seen at sunset in Washington, Dec. 13, 2022.

US lawmakers early Tuesday released the text of a $1.7 trillion funding bill which Congress hopes to pass within days to avert a government shutdown.

Congress last week adopted a short-term budget bill to avert a shutdown of federal services and give the Democratic and Republican parties a little more time to reach a compromise ahead of the December 23 deadline.

"The choice is clear. We can either do our jobs and fund the government, or we can abandon our responsibilities without a real path forward," Leahy said.

"Passing this bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill is undoubtedly in the interest of the American people. It is the product of months of hard work and compromise," the Democratic Vermont senator said.

"The House and the Senate should take up this bill and pass it without delay."

The bill includes $858 billion in defense funding and will also provide $44.9 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine.

It also includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, including $118.7 billion for Veterans Affairs medical care, a 22 percent increase, and provides $40.6 billion to help U.S. communities hit by recent natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

"The pain of inflation on American families is real, and it is being felt right now across the federal government," Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a statement announcing the release of the text of the appropriations bill.

"From funding for nutrition programs and housing assistance, to home energy costs and college affordability, our bipartisan, bicameral, omnibus appropriations bill directly invests in providing relief from the burden of inflation on the American people."