Congress (Gasp!) Poised to Pass Spending Bill

Appropriations 'the last bastion of getting something done around here': rep
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2011 8:54 AM CST

(Newser) – Looks like Congress is finally getting something done with minimal angst. A $1 trillion spending bill to last through September is set to be revealed today, barring any last-minute controversy. The process has been a more simplified one thanks to the fact that the overall spending level was set at $1.043 trillion back in August; the debate over the payroll tax also eased negotiations by keeping the spotlight on that battle, the Washington Post notes. This time around, both parties were ready to compromise when it came to how to divide the money among various departments and agencies.

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That's partly because Republicans know they need Democratic votes: Dozens of GOP representatives are likely to reject any deal that doesn't feature massive spending cuts. The heads of the House and Senate appropriations committees both sound positive about the likelihood of a deal being finalized; the House Appropriations Committee's ranking Democrat calls the group "the last bastion of getting something done around here." Still, debate could arise over funding tied to health care reform, abortion rights, and the environment. (Read more Congress stories.)

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