No Shutdown: Congress Rolls Out $1.1T Spending Bill

Bipartisan measure expected to pass easily
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2014 11:51 PM CST
Updated Jan 14, 2014 7:37 AM CST
No Shutdown: Congress Rolls Out $1.1T Spending Bill
The US Capitol is seen in early morning light in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

After weeks of late nights, House and Senate negotiators believe they have hammered out a bipartisan spending bill that will ensure a year free from government shutdown drama. "There will be no shutdown," says Senate Appropriations Committee chair Barbara Mikulski. "This is a strong bipartisan bill, and it is a bicameral bill." The bill covers discretionary spending throughout fiscal 2014, ensuring the government remains open until at least October 1.

  • The time frame to pass the mammoth $1.1 trillion bill is tight, but both parties are keen to avoid another shutdown, Politico notes. "I'm on board,” says Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee. "It’s not everything anybody wanted, but we’ve been working hard at it, and it will lead us, hopefully, to regular order.”

  • Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, says he expects a majority of lawmakers from both parties to back the measure. "Everybody can find something to complain about—legitimately so," he tells the Washington Post. "But from the Republican standpoint, gosh, this is $164 billion less than Bush’s last discretionary budget, so that’s pretty good progress in cutting spending."
  • The bill eases the sequester spending cuts, providing just upward of $1 trillion to federal agencies and another $92 billion for overseas operations for a total of $1.1 trillion, marking the first time discretionary spending has fallen over four years since the Korean War, according House Appropriations Committee chair Hal Rogers.
  • Federal workers will get a 1% raise under the bill, which provides fresh cash for President Obama's push to expand pre-kindergarten education and contains no language that would block ObamaCare. The measure slashes Homeland Security funding by $336 million, with most of the cuts at the TSA.
  • The measure also contains dozens of policy riders, including a continued ban on transferring Gitmo detainees, prevention of funding for a ban on incandescent light bulbs, and new restrictions on aid to Egypt, the Hill finds.
(More government spending stories.)

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