U.S. Increases Funding for Resettling Americans Evacuated From Afghanistan
How do you feel about increased funding for resettling Americans evacuated from Afghanistan?
What’s the story?
- The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation increasing funding for the resettlement of American citizens repatriated from Afghanistan ― a rare instance of legislative business occurring during a pro forma session while senators are back in their states.
- The bill, known as the Emergency Repatriation Assistance for Returning Americans Act, would increase funding at the State Dept. for resettling Americans who were living overseas from $1 million to $10 million for the current fiscal year 2021 and the upcoming fiscal year 2022. Roughly 6,000 American civilians were evacuated from Afghanistan and about 100 to 200 were left in the country at the conclusion of the U.S. evacuation.
- The legislation cleared the House by unanimous consent at the end of the chamber’s two-day work period a week ago. The Senate had previously scheduled a pro forma session for Tuesday given that senators aren’t scheduled to be in D.C. for floor business until Monday, September 13th. However, that doesn’t preclude business transpiring if there’s unanimous consent for it to occur.
- The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate gained unanimous consent by running it through the "hotline" ― which is essentially a process of letting senators know about the request to pass the bill unanimously and ensuring there aren’t objections to it moving forward.
- With unanimous consent for the bill’s passage in hand, the Senate had to scramble to find an additional senator to preside over the pro forma session. When no other senators were found, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) ― who had been slated to preside over the gavelling-in and gavelling-out of the pro forma ― made the request on the floor with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law later in the day on Tuesday.
— Eric Revell
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