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Lawmakers release $1 trillion spending bill

8:52 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - House and Senate negotiators unveiled a $1.012 trillion spending bill late Monday to fund the government until October and eliminate the threat of another shutdown during that time.

The "omnibus" spending bill is a sweeping piece of legislation that includes all 12 of the annual bills that provide funding for all discretionary federal spending. It does not include mandatory spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Some $520.5 billion will be spent on defense while the remaining $491.7 billion covers a broad swath of domestic programs including early education, cancer research and federal law enforcement agencies.

According to a House Appropriations Committee summary, the spending bill also includes:

• A ban on new light bulb standards.

• New restrictions on travel and conference costs for federal agencies.

• Provisions to ensure that Guantanamo detainees will not be transferred into the U.S.

• A pay freeze for Vice President Biden and other senior political appointees.

• No funding for the International Monetary Fund.

"I lost some. Others lost some. But it's a good bill," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs a subcommittee on energy.

The spending package is a result of the year-end bipartisan budget agreement that set top-line spending figures for the next two fiscal years.

With a top-line figure approved by Congress in December, appropriators worked over the past four weeks to package together spending bills that normally take months to pass.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., kept details of the negotiations quiet in part because there is likely to be opposition from within both parties to the final product.

There is at least one policy rider attached, however, that is likely to appease many lawmakers: a repeal of cuts to cost of living adjustments for military pensions affecting disabled veterans. The pension reductions were included in the year-end budget deal but faced push back across the political spectrum.

"As with any compromise, not everyone will like everything in this bill, but in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party," read a joint statement from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Congress is on track to approve a three-day stop gap spending measure to keep the government running through Jan. 18 to buy Congress more time to get it through both chambers and to President Obama's desk. The current funding expires on Wednesday.

USA TODAY

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