Speed Reads

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Houses passes $1.5 trillion spending bill

The House on Wednesday night passed a $1.5 trillion bill that would fund the government through the end of September and provide emergency humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The Senate must act by midnight Friday to ensure there isn't a government shutdown.

Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that $15.6 billion for COVID-19 spending had been dropped from the bill, after Republicans said they wanted the initiative paid for through cuts in pandemic aid to 30 states. Pelosi called the removal "heartbreaking" but necessary to get the package approved.

For the Ukraine aid, $6.5 billion will go toward the cost of sending U.S. troops and weapons to Eastern Europe and $6.8 billion will go toward assisting refugees and providing economic aid to allies, The Associated Press reports. President Biden had asked for $10 billion in the package.