House and Senate lawmakers agreed to a bipartisan compromise to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, unveiling the measure days before financing for federal agencies is scheduled to lapse.
The $1.01 trillion measure would fund the troubled health care law and individual agencies, plus add separate war financing to bring the total to $1.1 trillion. Republican efforts to derail some regulatory initiatives were left out of the measure to ensure passage and avoid a repeat of the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.
The bill, announced last night by lawmakers including House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, probably will reach the House floor tomorrow, Rogers said.
“Not everyone will like everything in this bill, but in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “We believe this is a good, workable measure.”
Negotiators had agreed on the $1.01 trillion base spending level in December as part of a two-year, bipartisan budget agreement. The measure unveiled late yesterday would support defense spending at about $573 billion for the current fiscal year, with $85.2 billion for the war in Afghanistan, about $2 billion less than in fiscal year 2013.
The bill “represents a positive step forward for the nation and our economy,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement. President Barack Obama’s administration “urges Congress to move quickly to pass it,” she said.
Government funding runs through tomorrow, so lawmakers also plan to pass a separate three-day bill at current funding levels to push the deadline to Jan. 18. That would give lawmakers enough time to enact the comprehensive legislation without risking a government shutdown.
The House plans to vote on the stopgap measure today.
In an effort to win support from Democrats, House appropriators left out contentious policy provisions such as one blocking Obama’s 2010 health-care law.
Republican efforts to thwart the health-care law were at the center of a spending-legislation dispute that caused the October shutdown.
“There is nothing in the bill that blocks Obamacare,” Mikulski said.
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