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- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat to vote against the $1.7 trillion spending bill.
- It is unclear why she opposed the measure.
- The bill easily passed the House. Biden has promised to sign it into law as soon as possible.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on Friday became the lone Democrat in Congress to oppose a sweeping $1.7 trillion bipartisan spending plan that otherwise largely passed along party lines.
While it is not clear why Ocasio-Cortez opposed the bill, the legislation provides $858 billion in funding for Pentagon programs, a major defense-related spending boost that was touted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who supported the bill. Ocasio-Cortez has previously argued that the US should reduce its defense-related spending. A representative for AOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, an Ocasio-Cortez ally and fellow “Squad” member, voted “Present.” The spending plan passed the House 225-201-1, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk. Biden quickly promised to promptly sign the legislation, which would avert a government shutdown and fund the federal government through most of next year.
While largely a spending bill, the omnibus package included a number of other policies, one of the more significant changes would allow Americans to save longer for retirement. There’s also more than $44 billion in aid for Ukraine as it continues to repel Russia’s invasion. Other major provisions include significant changes to a 135-year-old that governs how Congress certifies presidential elections and a ban on the use of TikTok on government phones.
While McConnell touted the legislation, the bill significantly divided Republicans. Just 28 Republicans in either chamber, including McConnell, ended up voting for the bill. Former President Donald Trump had urged the GOP to block the bill. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is hoping to become speaker next year, argued that the GOP should have waited until the party retakes the chamber.