Tags: US | Congress | spending | bill

Democrats Accept GOP Demands on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 06:37 PM

Democrats and Republicans agreed on a spending bill as Democrats accepted policy changes, including curbs on rules for banking and clean water, that Republicans demanded as conditions to fund the government past Dec. 11, according to a Senate aide.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier today said that though Democrats opposed the Republican-sponsored policy proposals, his party wouldn’t be responsible for shutting down the government. The Senate aide spoke on condition of anonymity.

“There’s no reason the government should shut down,” Reid told reporters today. He said Republicans were “going at some of the basics that we believe in and have become part of our makeup, that has been clean air, clean water.”

The deal would roll back part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law to allow more swaps trading at banks that have federal insurance. It would allow exceptions to clean-water laws for agricultural refuse, and block funding for rules to tax and regulate marijuana in the District of Columbia.

Some Senate Democrats oppose the Dodd-Frank proposal, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Warren called the change “reckless” in a statement today.

The House and Senate intend to vote on the $1.1 trillion spending legislation this week before leaving Washington for the year. It would put off until early 2015 a fight over Republican efforts to defund President Barack Obama’s plan to ease deportation policies for undocumented immigrants.

The deal was negotiated by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Democrats agreed to the changes after fighting off several others. These include revisions to District of Columbia gun laws and six other Dodd-Frank-related policy proposals, according to a Democratic aide who sought anonymity to discuss the talks.

The aide said the plan includes a proposal by the National Rifle Association that lets gun manufacturers use lead to produce ammunition, and a labor provision exempting claim adjusters from overtime requirements during major disasters.

Reid said earlier today that if the House included the District of Columbia marijuana in the bill, “it’s going to be hard to take it out over here. But I oppose it.”

While the spending bill would fund most of the U.S. government through September 2015, the Department of Homeland Security would be financed only through February, said a House aide who sought anonymity to discuss the private talks.

Republicans seek to use a funding debate over the agency responsible for immigration to defund Obama’s immigration policy, announced Nov. 20. Republicans will control the Senate and House of Representatives starting in January.

An agreement on the spending bill is a victory for Republican leaders seeking to clear the agenda to advance other items next year.

Lawmakers overcame the biggest risk to the spending bill last week as House Speaker John Boehner rejected Tea Party Republicans’ insistence on using it to defund Obama’s immigration orders. Instead, on Dec. 4 Boehner let members vent with a symbolic vote disapproving of Obama’s immigration orders.

Democratic votes probably will be needed for House passage as the spending measure is opposed by some Republicans who wanted to force a confrontation on immigration this month.

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Democrats and Republicans agreed on a spending bill as Democrats accepted policy changes, including curbs on rules for banking and clean water, that Republicans demanded as conditions to fund the government past Dec. 11, according to a Senate aide. Senate Majority Leader...
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2014-37-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 06:37 PM
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