Shelby: Senate Passes FY23 Omnibus Package
Secures 10% Defense Increase, Ensures Veterans Care, Rejects Wasteful Non-defense Budget Request
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the final act of the 117th Congress, the Senate has passed (68-29) the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) omnibus appropriations package containing all 12 appropriations measures, as well as $47 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine’s valiant efforts to repulse Russian invaders and bring the conflict to an end and $38 billion in much-needed emergency disaster assistance. The legislation, filed in the Senate, will now move to the House, where a vote on the package is expected this week prior to the government funding deadline of December 23. If passed by the House, the measure will move to the President’s desk for his signature. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) issued the following statement regarding the legislation:
“I am pleased that the Senate has passed the FY23 omnibus appropriations package, which represents a serious commitment to our national defense, aid for Americans in need as a result of natural disasters, and continuing support for the people of Ukraine as they fight against Russian aggression. The road we traveled to get to this point has been long and winding at times, but we got to yes. It has been my great privilege and high honor to lead this committee with Chairman Leahy, and I thank him for his help in getting where we are today. Today, we did our job and funded the government.”
Vice Chairman Shelby’s remarks prior to the vote on Senate passage, as prepared, are as follows:
“Mr. President, I rise today for the last time to address my colleagues on the floor of the United States Senate.
“After over 100 years of combined public service, my long-time colleague, good friend and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy and I are seeking your support on one last piece of legislation.
“This particular bill or ‘omnibus’ as we call it, includes all twelve appropriations bills as well as emergency supplemental funding for disaster relief and Ukraine.
“I think the Chairman would agree that the road we traveled to get to this point has been long, it has been winding at times, we’ve hit some rough patches, taken some detours, and at times we broke down on the side of the road. Notwithstanding the difficulties and disagreements, however, we always shared the same goal . . . getting to yes.
“Was this a perfect process that led to a perfect result, of course not? It never is . . . and it never does.
“The path we followed to produce this particular legislation is not the path that either one of us would have freely chosen. Over the years, our strong preference has been to engage in ‘regular order.’ But, for a number of reasons, many of them out of our control, that was not to be this time around.
“This bill, in just about every respect, represents a compromise. The legislative process, and the appropriations process in particular, rarely produces anything different. In other words, if you are seeking purity, you will not find it here and, you never will.
“What you will find in this bill, however, is a serious commitment to our national defense, aid for Americans in need as a result of natural disasters, and continuing support for the people of Ukraine as they fight against Russian aggression.
“As the Republican Leader pointed out yesterday, we have a choice to make. I urge you all to choose in favor of our men and women in uniform and fulfill one of our most fundamental obligations and that is to fund the government.
“Mr. President, before I yield, I’d like to once again recognize my good friend, the senior Senator from Vermont. It has been my great privilege and high honor to serve beside him for my entire Senate career. He personifies what it means to be a United States Senator and this body will surely miss him.
“I’d also like to thank the entire Appropriations staff on both sides of the aisle, not only for their years of service while I served on the Committee, but also for, once again, doing the impossible under extremely demanding circumstances. It is my hope that we will reward your tireless efforts with a strong vote in favor of this bill.”
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