Tags: senate | spending | deal | budget

Budget Deal Reached: 'There Will Be No Shutdown'

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 06:04 PM

 

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House and Senate appropriators agreed to a bipartisan bill to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, and it will be introduced tonight, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski said.

The measure will reach the House floor tomorrow or Jan. 15, Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, said in Washington. “We have a bill,” she said. “There will be no shutdown.”

Government funding runs out Jan. 15, so lawmakers also plan to pass a separate three-day stopgap bill at current funding levels to push the deadline to Jan. 18. That would give lawmakers enough time to enact the comprehensive bill without risking a government shutdown.

“I think it’s a really good deal,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican. “The Senate and the House got together in a good way.”

Lawmakers agreed on a $1.01 trillion spending level in December as part of a two-year, bipartisan budget deal. The measure announced tonight would provide funding for individual agencies. Mikulski said negotiators agreed to details on all 12 sections of the bill, avoiding the need to write any of them as stopgap spending measures continuing the prior year’s funding.

The Senate plans to take up and pass the short-term extension once the House sends it over. Any senator could delay passage of either measure for about four days, though no senators have said they will do so.

In an effort to win support from Democrats, House appropriators didn’t include contentious policy provisions such as one blocking President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care law.

Government Shutdown

Republican efforts to block the health-care law were at the center of a spending-bill dispute that caused a 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

“There is nothing in the bill that blocks Obamacare,” Mikulski said. The measure also omits language sought by House Republicans to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and to limit rules governing coal mining waste.

“We tried to keep those political riders out,” said Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Senate Republican appropriator.

Lawmakers struggled to trim more than $25 billion from military spending amid lobbying from defense contractors including Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. The top customer for each of the top 10 federal contractors was a unit of the Department of Defense, according to a Bloomberg Government compilation of contracting records.

Several lawmakers said that one of the last unresolved issues had been a proposed $63 billion contribution to the International Monetary Fund’s permanent capital fund. Mikulski declined to say if that provision will be in the final bill.

Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, predicted last week that there would be objections to the final spending package “from all across the spectrum” from lawmakers who wanted more cuts and others who wanted fewer spending reductions.

 

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