clear
Wednesday May 25th, 2016 11:20AM

House to pass 6-month spending bill

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - As its last major act before leaving Washington for the fall campaign, the House is voting to put the government on autopilot for six months.

The temporary spending bill is needed to avert a government shutdown when the current budget year expires Sept. 30. At issue are the day-to-day operating budgets of Cabinet agencies that are funded annually by Congress through 12 appropriations bills.

Thursday's vote represents a retreat by tea party House Republicans, since the stopgap measure permits spending at a pace that's $19 billion above the stringent budget plan authored by GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Instead, the measure permits spending at the higher budget "caps" permitted under last summer's hard-fought budget and debt deal between President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill Republicans. Typically, short-term spending bills freeze agency budgets at existing levels, but Thursday's measure actually would permit an across-the-board 0.6 percent increase in keeping with the budget deal.

Ryan was scheduled Thursday to make his first appearance at the Capitol since being named to the GOP ticket. He'll vote in favor of the measure.

The Senate is expected to easily pass the bill next week and then is likely to exit Washington for the campaign.

The spending measure is the last major piece of pre-election legislation likely to be enacted into law from a Congress that's been mostly gridlocked from the moment it took the oath of office.

The measure would replenish disaster aid coffers, finance the food stamp program after it lapses on Sept. 30 and reauthorize for six months federal grants to states to run their welfare programs.

Just a handful of high-priority programs would be awarded larger increases, including a government cybersecurity initiative, wildfire suppression efforts, a drive to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal and processing of veteran disability claims. A popular initiative to repair the dome of the Capitol was left unfunded, however, despite a high-profile push by Senate Democrats.

Also Thursday comes a House vote on a curiously-drafted bill that aims to turn off an upcoming round of automatic spending cuts of more than $100 billion set to slam the economy in January as punishment for the failure of last year's deficit "supercommittee" to strike a bargain.

But the measure, the ambitiously titled "National Security and Job Protection Act," would only turn off this so-called sequester if Congress were to enact a separate package of big spending cuts. If Congress were to pass such a bill, of course, lawmakers would use that legislation to block the across-the-board cuts.

The six-month spending measure has backing from conservatives who want to avoid the prospect of an omnibus spending bill in the post-election lame duck session and who hope to have greater leverage next year.

"If you anticipate being in a better bargaining position in January," said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., "why go to the bargaining table in December?"
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 3 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 3 years ago )
U.S. News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 3 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 3 years ago )
Budget battle sends mixed signals on health care
Confused about the federal budget struggle? So are doctors, hospital administrators and other medical professionals who serve the 100 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
6:20PM ( 3 years ago )
Politics
Amid shouts of 'shame,' House GOP defeats gay rights measure
Democrats shouted "shame," but House Republicans switched their votes and defeated a measure to protect gay rights
8:03PM ( 5 days ago )
CDC director Freiden warns GOP Zika bill is inadequate
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday that a House GOP measure to combat the Zika virus is inadequate to deal with the swelling threat to public health
7:36PM ( 6 days ago )
Trump unveils list of his top picks for Supreme Court
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, released Wednesday a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia if he's elected to the White House.
3:31PM ( 6 days ago )
1st US penis transplant could bring hope to maimed soldiers
A 64-year-old cancer patient has received the nation's first penis transplant, a groundbreaking operation that may also help U.S. veterans maimed by roadside bombs
8:04PM ( 1 week ago )
States dig in against directive on transgender bathroom use
Politicians in Texas, Arkansas and elsewhere are vowing defiance over the Obama administration's new directive on transgender bathroom use
9:19PM ( 1 week ago )