The nearly 3,000-page long spending bill was released to the public earlier this week, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives less than 24 hours later in two portions, and then approved by the U.S. Senate.
Its passage comes after Congress approved a series of continuing resolutions that kept the government funded while details for the full year of spending were still being negotiated.
Notable provisions in the bill, which Cornyn cited as reasons to vote for it, include the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and a supplemental $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine.
“We need to get this money out the door as soon as possible while the United States and NATO need to continue to supply the javelins, other anti-aircraft, anti-tank weapons to help the Ukrainians defend themselves against this existential threat,” said Cornyn.
Cornyn and other Republicans who voted for the legislation claim that the bill does not include “poison pills” such as “taxpayer funding of abortion.”
According to a summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee, the spending package includes $730 billion in non-defense funding, an increase of 6.7 percent from last year, and $782 billion in defense funding, an increase of 5.6 percent from last year.
The legislation was approved by the Senate in a 68 to 31 vote, and while Cornyn supported the measure, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined the majority of other Republicans in opposing the bill.
“Tonight, Congress missed yet another opportunity to get our spending under control, clean up the corruption in Washington, and enact policies that will actually help, rather than hurt, hardworking Americans,” said Cruz in a statement regarding his vote.
Cruz noted the high gas prices and staggering inflation driven by record trillions of dollars in government spending over the past several years.
He also noted that he pledged to vote against any legislation that funds the enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
An amendment was voted on in the Senate to prohibit the funding of such mandates but failed in a 49 to 50 party-line vote.
Cruz said that although he voted against the bill as a whole, he “wholeheartedly support[s] multiple provisions” that were included in the bill, such as the aid to Ukraine, funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, and the designation of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as an interstate highway.
Earlier in the House of Representatives, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the large spending package, criticizing his Republican colleagues who were supportive of the measure.
“Stop spending money we don’t have. Stop funding tyranny. Stop forcing Americans to get a jab or lose their job. Stop leaving the border wide open, and stop selling the American people a bill of goods, and I’m looking directly at my party when I say that,” said Roy in an impassioned floor speech.
Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-TX-), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02), Jake Ellzey (R-TX-06), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), August Pfluger (R-TX-11), and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24) voted in favor of the security portion, while Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08), John Carter (R-TX-31), Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), Kay Granger (R-TX-12), Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), and Pete Sessions (R-TX-17) voted in favor of all portions.
All Texas Democrats voted in favor of all portions.
Gonzales, a freshman member on the House Appropriations Committee, celebrated the passage of the legislation, citing $354 million in spending that will go to his large district stretching from San Antonio to El Paso.
“This budget includes much-needed deliverables to our district and strong provisions for border security, our military, and our global allies and partners,” said Gonzales. “As we look towards the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2023, I will continue to look for more ways to make our federal dollars work for the district.”
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.