A massive spending bill that will fund the federal government through September – as well as provide $13.6 billion in fresh aid to Ukraine as the country fights back against Russia’s invasion – was signed into law by President Joe Biden Tuesday.
The spending package, known as the omnibus, will provide funding through fiscal year 2022, which started in October. Lawmakers have been negotiating over the legislation for months and have passed three stopgap funding bills to keep the government running in the meantime. That means federal agencies have been funded at 2021 levels for the past five months.
The text of the 2,741-page bill was released last week. Congress had to pass the legislation, or another stopgap bill, by midnight last Friday to avoid a government shutdown. The House passed the bill on Wednesday night and the Senate passed the bill on Thursday evening.
The spending package calls for more than $1.5 trillion in annual appropriations, excluding the Ukraine aid. That’s more than a 6% increase from the year before, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The legislation will provide $730 billion in non-defense funding – a 6.7% increase over fiscal year 2021 – the largest jump in four years, according to the House Appropriations Committee. It also will provide $782 billion in defense funding, a 5.6% increase over fiscal year 2021.
Here’s what some of the money will fund, according to summaries and fact sheets provided by the House Appropriations Committee:
Increases for congressional offices, staff and police
The law calls for an increase in funding for congressional offices by 21%, to $774.4 million, so they can recruit and retain a diverse workforce. It will be the largest boost in the Members Representational Allowance appropriation since its authorization in 1996. The package will also provide $18.2 million to pay interns.
It will provide $602.5 million for the Capitol Police, an increase of $87 million. This will allow for the hiring of up to 2,112 sworn officers and 450 civilian members of the Capitol Police.
A boost for the IRS
The spending package will provide $12.6 billion for the Internal Revenue Service, an increase of $675 million, the largest since 2001.
The funding boost is intended to help the IRS improve its customer service, increase enforcement, modernize its technology and improve its web applications. It also will provide special funding transfer authority and direct hire authority to help the agency deal with a massive backlog of returns and correspondence.
Money for election security
The package will provide $75 million for election security grants to bolster state efforts to improve the security and integrity of elections for federal office. It also will give the Election Assistance Commission $20 million for operating expenses, a boost of $3 million.
Schools and financial aid boost
The law will provide $17.5 billion for high-poverty K-12 schools, an increase of $1 billion, the largest in more than a decade. And it calls for increasing funding for Head Start by $289 million to $11 billion.
The maximum Pell Grant will increase by $400, to $6,895 a year. Pell Grants are generally awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs, and the amounts are based on their costs to attend school, family sizes and incomes.
The increase will be the largest to the maximum Pell Grant in more than a decade, according to a summary of the bill. The Build Back Better package, which passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate, had called for increasing the maximum Pell Grant award by $550.
Funds for medical research and public health
The package will provide more funding for biomedical and behavioral research at the National Institutes of Health, which will receive $45 billion in funding, an increase of $2.25 billion. It will include $1 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health in order to speed up the pace of scientific breakthroughs for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.