Tags: Spending bill | Michelle Obama

Politico: Budget Bill Winners Include Boy Scouts, Losers Include Michelle Obama

Image: Politico: Budget Bill Winners Include Boy Scouts, Losers Include Michelle Obama
(Charly Triballeau/ AFP/ Getty Images; Alex Wong/ Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 02:30 PM

As the 113th Congress careens toward the finish line, the list of winners and losers in the budget debate is coming sharply into focus.

Winners in the $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled by bipartisan House and Senate negotiators in an effort to keep the federal government functioning past Thursday include the Boy Scouts, who obtained a "special fix" for their pensions, and farmers, who won relief from Environmental Protection Agency regulations of methane emissions from livestock, Politico reported.

Losers, according to the magazine, range from conservative Republicans unhappy because the measure does not block President Obama's recent immigration amnesty order to First Lady Michelle Obama, whose efforts to remake school lunch programs around the nation suffered a setback.

The bill, more than 1,600 pages long, would delay pending further scientific study Mrs. Obama's push to make school lunches less salty and would exempt schools from new requirements that all grain products be mostly whole grain, the New York Post reported.

Schools would be exempt if they could show that it would be too expensive or too difficult to find such whole grain products.

The legislation includes a wide array of additional politically charged measures. The bill funds 11 of 12 federal departments for the rest of the fiscal year, but finances the Homeland Security Department only through February — a rebuke to the President's amnesty efforts.

There are also provisions barring the Agriculture Department from using poultry processed in China for school lunches. California Democratic Rep. George Miller, who is retiring after 40 years in the House of Representatives, slipped in 160 pages of pension-related provisions pushed by unions. Banks won a rollback of a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law on derivatives trading, and defense contractors secured funding for F-35 fighters.

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said he would oppose the measure in part because of a provision allowing Americans to donate $777,600 — up from the current $97,200 limit — to national party committees, Politico reported.

Speaking before the bill came out this week, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain called the process "disgraceful" and predicted the measure would be "jammed full of s---."

But Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby — who, as ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee was an architect of the plan — defended it.

"I don't think it is a Christmas tree," Shelby said. "Appropriations bills always have a lot of things in them because there's a trillion dollars — how to spend it, how not to spend it."

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As the 113th Congress careens toward the finish line, the list of winners and losers in the budget debate is coming sharply into focus.
Spending bill, Michelle Obama
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2014-30-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 02:30 PM
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