Riders Are Sticking Points in Budget Deal

Friday, 08 Apr 2011 02:56 PM

By Jim Meyers

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A provision to defund Planned Parenthood is just one of the riders attached to the spending package that are being blamed for holding up agreement on the budget bill as a government shutdown looms at midnight Friday.

Democrats in the House strongly object to the Planned Parenthood rider, whose main sponsor is Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence. It would cut the entire $317 million program of aid for family planning, and bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose.

Other amendments to the H.R. 1 bill to fund the federal government range from a provision barring the implementation of Obamacare to a rider blocking financing of a sewer in Mexico.

The amendments that have been approved by the House include those that would:
  • Prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories.
  • Bar funds from being used to “pay any employee, officer or contractor to implement the provisions of the president’s healthcare law.” Another rider would flatly prohibit spending to carry out provisions of Obamacare.
  • Prohibit financing to enforce the individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance.
  • Reduce financing for the National Endowment for the Arts back to 2006 levels of about $21 million.
  • Eliminate $15 million from the Presidio Trust, which oversees the management of the onetime military base in former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.
  • Restore $557 million in state grants for educating children with disabilities, and reduce school improvement grants and teacher quality grants to offset the $557 million.
  • Eliminate funding for a project launched by Pelosi to “Green the Capitol” in Washington.
  • Prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from financing “net neutrality” regulations affecting the Internet.
  • Strip financing for the salaries of so-called “czars,” senior policy advisers that aid the White House.
  • Cancel the alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
  • Eliminate the National Drug Intelligence Center, a pet project of the late Rep. John Murtha that sponsor Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., cites as a prime “example of wasteful spending.”
  • Reduce funding for a study researching salmon migrations in the Klamath River, which runs through Oregon and California. Main sponsor Tom McClintock, R-Calif., called it an example of “Greens Gone Wild.”
  • Reduce funding for the EPA’s “Greenhouse Gas Registry.”
  • Eliminate spending $10 million for a sewer to be built in Tijuana, Mexico.
  • Transfer funds from NASA to a program that helps add police officers to local departments.
A number of other riders were rejected by a vote in the House, including amendments to limit military funding for the war in Afghanistan, restore $50 million in heating subsidies for the poor, reduce funding for Amtrak, reduce financing for Iraq by $1.5 billion, eliminate subsidies for solar energy research, eliminate financing for the V-22 Osprey aircraft, and prohibit government sponsoring of cars in Nascar races.

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