Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Immigration | budget | riders | government | shutdown

House Lawmakers Ready for Final Tweaks to $1 Trillion Budget Bill

By    |   Monday, 08 Dec 2014 07:57 AM

With the outgoing 113th Congress pressed to pass a mammoth $1 trillion-plus budget to keep the federal government running beyond Dec. 12, lawmakers and interest groups alike are on the alert for hidden expenditure rules that they oppose, The Hill reported.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers is expected to make public the appropriations legislation on Monday, the National Journal reported.

The House is then to vote on a series of appropriations bills to keep the national government afloat until September 2015, and the Department of Homeland Security in operation for the next several months.

Given the size and detail of the budget, "You have to not just be a speed-reader, but really be a superman to get through all of it," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Hill reported.

Democrats will want to make sure that Republicans, who control the process, have not hidden any riders that would cut funding for abortion or reverse the decision of Washington, D.C., to legalize marijuana. They will also be on the lookout to make sure campaign spending laws are not surreptitiously changed.

Everyone will be watching to see how much the White House actually gets out of the money it said was necessary to fight Ebola ($6.2 billion) and Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria ($5.6 billion).

"If the bill is anything we can support, we will," Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, according to the Journal.

Democrats warn they will not support a budget that has "destructive riders."

Speaker John Boehner will need Democratic support to pass the budget, since hard-line conservatives may vote against it to protest administration policies, The Hill reported.

The House already passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday that included a rider which blocks funding for the transfer of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to the mainland. That bill is awaiting action in the Senate, where members can also attempt to attach or challenge riders, the Journal reported.

Advocacy groups like the Sierra Club will also study the budget to ensure it still contains provisions to reduce carbon emissions at power plants that Obama asked for, The Hill reported.

"My sense is Republicans may be holding their fire until they have greater numbers, greater control, greater power," Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club told The Hill.

It's too early to know which riders will be excluded for sure.

"As it comes down to the wire over the next week, we also remember sequestration," said Lindsay Koshgarian of the National Priorities Project. "No one thought that would go through, so never say never," the Hill reported.

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With the outgoing 113th Congress pressed to pass a mammoth $1 trillion-plus budget to keep the federal government running beyond Dec. 12, lawmakers and interest groups alike are on the alert for hidden expenditure rules that they oppose, The Hill reported.
budget, riders, government, shutdown, House
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2014-57-08
Monday, 08 Dec 2014 07:57 AM
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