The U.S. Senate passed a massive $1.5 trillion spending package on Thursday, sending it to President Biden even as Americans suffer under the financial strain caused by skyrocketing inflation.
The package passed in a bipartisan 68 to 31 vote. It will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, which runs through the end of September. It increases defense and nondefense spending compared to fiscal 2021. It also includes funding related to Ukraine.
The spending package also includes earmarks — the Wall Street Journal performed a review which discovered that around $9.7 billion is going toward earmarks. An amendment from Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) to cut the earmarks from the package failed to pass — the vote on the amendment was 64-35.
The Senate cleared the spending the very same day that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new consumer price index data that showed prices continuing their disturbing upward trajectory. According to BLS, the consumer price index climbed 0.8% in February.
"The all items index rose 7.9 percent for the 12 months ending February. The 12-month increase has been steadily rising and is now the largest since the period ending January 1982," BLS reported.
Americans are feeling pain at the pump as gas prices skyrocket, and the situation could get even worse in the days ahead.
President Biden recently signed an executive order banning the importation of Russian oil into the U.S. The order prohibits importing "crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products" from Russia.