By Ed O’Keefe
January 16, 2014
The House on Wednesday passed a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year and end the threat of more government shutdowns. The Senate is expected to give final approval to the deal later this week.
The spending plan runs more than 1,500 pages, and House lawmakers spent only one hour Wednesday debating the omnibus measure. It is packed with reams of spending and policy decisions. So, what’s in it? We’ve sifted through most of it and unearthed some notable and controversial elements.
The bill once again bans the use of federal funding to perform most abortions, including for inmates in federal prisons, and prohibits the use of local and federal funding for abortions in the District of Columbia. It also bans the use of foreign aid for abortions, but the agreement doesn’t codify the “global gag rule” that bars nongovernmental organizations that receive federal funds from providing women information on certain health programs.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
There’s a $1 billion reduction in the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a move Republicans say will keep administration officials from using the money to pay for elements of the health law. The bill also slashes $10 million for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, often referred to by Republicans as the “unelected bureaucrats” or “death panels” that are set to advise government officials on health-care issues.
The Department of Homeland Security will see a $336 million cut in funding, with most of the reductions at the Transportation Security Administration. In a victory for Republicans who have sought for years to boost the use of private security contractors, the agreement increases funding for private security screeners and caps TSA’s overall screening personnel at 46,000.
The measure includes $85.2 billion for military operations in Afghanistan, a $2 billion cut from fiscal 2013 due in part to ongoing troop reductions. But the agreement also withholds money for the Afghan government “until certain conditions are met,” including a decision to sign a new bilateral security agreement.
The legislation enacts a pay freeze for the vice president “and senior political appointees.”
The agreement includes $10.6 billion for Customs and Border Protection, about $220 million more than the previous fiscal year. In a victory for California lawmakers and border security advocates, $128 million is allotted to expand the busy U.S.-Mexico border crossing station between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. But the sum is significantly less than the $226 million originally sought by the Obama administration.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
There’s $673 million for the District, about $2.2 million less than last year. The sum includes $232.8 million for D.C. courts, $226.5 million for criminal offender supervision and $48 million for school improvements.
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