Author Topic: Dozens of trade-offs in $1.1 trillion budget bill  (Read 171 times)

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Offline flowers

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Dozens of trade-offs in $1.1 trillion budget bill
« on: January 14, 2014, 01:34:26 PM »

   The massive measure contains a dozens of trade-offs between Democrats and Republicans as it fleshes out the details of the budget deal that Congress passed last month. That pact gave relatively modest but much-sought relief to the Pentagon and domestic agencies after deep budget cuts last year.

Western Republicans from timber country were anxious about a cutoff of funding of federal payments in lieu of taxes to towns surrounded by federal lands but were reassured that the payments would be extended though separate legislation. Gulf Coast lawmakers praised a provision aimed at delaying federal flood insurance premium increases from new flood maps that have proven faulty, but the provision left in place other reforms enacted in 2012.

The GOP-led House is slated to pass the 1,582-page bill Wednesday, though some tea party conservatives are sure to oppose it.

Democrats pleased with new money to educate preschoolers and build high-priority highway projects are likely to make up the difference even as Republican social conservatives fret about losing familiar battles over abortion policy.

The bill would avert spending cuts that threatened construction of new aircraft carriers and next-generation Joint Strike Fighters. It maintains rent subsidies for the poor, awards federal civilian and military workers a 1 percent raise and beefs up security at U.S. embassies across the globe. The Obama administration would be denied money to meet its full commitments to the International Monetary Fund but get much of the money it wanted to pay for implementation of the new health care law and the 2010 overhaul of financial regulations.

“This agreement shows the American people that we can compromise, and that we can govern,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. “It puts an end to shutdown, slowdown, slamdown politics.”

The House vote is expected less than 48 hours after the measure became public, even though Republicans promised a 72-hour review period for legislation during their campaign to take over the House in 2010.

On Tuesday, the House is slated to approve a short-term funding bill to extend the Senate’s deadline to finish the overall spending bill until midnight Saturday. The current short-term spending bill expires at midnight Wednesday evening.

The measure doesn’t contain in-your-face victories for either side. The primary achievement was that there was an agreement in the first place after the collapse of the budget process last year, followed by a 16-day government shutdown and another brush with a disastrous default on U.S. obligations. After the shutdown and debt crisis last fall, House Budget committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., struck an agreement to avoid a repeat of the 5 percent cut applied to domestic agencies last year and to prevent the Pentagon from absorbing about $20 billion in new cuts on top of the ones that hit it last year.

At the White House, President Barack Obama expressed support for the bill and urged Congress to “pass that funding measure as quickly as possible so that all these agencies have some certainty around their budgets.”

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