Congress Approves $1.1 Trillion Federal Budget Bill
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A $1.1 trillion budget bill that eases the harshest effects of last year’s automatic budget cuts is on its way to the White House after clearing Congress Thursday night.
The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which will fund the government through September and funds every agency of government.
The bill received wide-scale bisupport after tea party critics chastened by October’s government shutdown mounted only a faint protest. The House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday with an overwhelming 359-67 bipartisan majority, CBS News reports.
It now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature before a midnight Saturday deadline, when a temporary funding measure expires.
The huge bill funds the operations of virtually every government agency, according to CBS News, pairing increases for NASA and Army Corps of Engineers construction projects with cuts to the Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid.
It also secures a tight lid on federal government spending demanded by Republicans while paying for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, along with tighter regulations on financial markets — but at levels lower than the president wanted.
The bill increases spending by about $26 billion over fiscal 2013, with most of the increase going to domestic programs, according to CBS News. About $9 billion in unrequested money for overseas military and diplomatic operations helps ease shortfalls in the Pentagon and foreign aid budgets.
Another provision exempts disabled veterans and surviving military spouses from a pension cut enacted in December. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) signaled that he would oppose a broader drive to repeal the entire pension provision, which saves $6 billion over the next decade by reducing the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working age military retirees by 1 percentage point, CBS News reports.
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