Happy Friday! Four Dispatch staffers had to physically restrain Declan to keep him from ripping up today’s newsletter and writing 3,000 words about the Bears’ Khalil Mack trade and how happy he is that there will be a full, 162-game Major League Baseball season this year.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
The Senate voted 68-31 on Thursday night to pass a $1.5 trillion, 2,700-page spending package that—once signed into law by President Joe Biden—will fund the federal government through September. The omnibus legislation—which includes (about $10 billion worth of) earmarks for the first time since 2011—allocates $13.6 billion in emergency military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, and boosts defense and nondefense spending over FY 2021 levels by $42 billion and $46 billion, respectively.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced Thursday the U.S. government believes North Korea’s two most recent missile tests—on February 26 and March 4, billed as reconnaissance satellite-related—actually involved components of a new intercontinental ballistic missile system the country is developing. “Earlier this week,” he said, “U.S. Indo-Pacific Command ordered intensified surveillance activity in the Yellow Sea, as well as enhanced readiness among our ballistic missile defense forces in the region.”