Congress Expands Its Own Budget, Moves To Cut Others

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers are moving to protect Capitol Hill’s budget even as they slash programs like education, health research, water projects and housing aid for the poor.

The move by the House Appropriations Committee promises a small budget increase for legislative branch operations even as funding for labor, health and education programs would absorb an almost 20 percent cut. Federal firefighting efforts also face big cuts, as do transportation and community development grants.

The GOP-controlled panel is giving Congress a budgetary reprieve after three consecutive years of cutting Capitol Hill’s operating budget. The House budget has dropped by 15 percent to $1.2 billion over that time from the record levels established when Democrats controlled Congress.

The move is preliminary and specifics won’t be available until later this spring.

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