Congress unveils $1.1 trillion plan to fund U.S. government

IRS Funding

The measure gives the Internal Revenue Service about $11.2 billion, leaving the agency’s budget little changed and finding a middle ground between the more than $2 billion reduction sought by House Republicans and the more than $1 billion increase sought by Obama.

The bill bars the IRS from targeting groups based on their ideological beliefs, in response to the agency’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking nonprofit status. It doesn’t include Republican-backed limits on the tax agency’s paying bonuses or implementing the 2010 health-care law.

IRS officials have said that budget cuts would limit their ability to answer taxpayers’ calls and prevent tax cheating. Recent data showed the audit rate for individuals hitting the lowest point since 2005.

The measure omits several regulatory changes sought by House Republicans, including to keep the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions.

Republican’s Provisions

“We tried to keep those political riders out,” said Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Senate Republican appropriator.

Even so, Republicans were able to place several provisions they’ve sought into the final measure.

The Office of Management and Budget would have to study the cost of implementing Wall Street regulatory changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawmakers preserved language that would block federal funding for abortions. The legislation would also prevent Washington, D.C., from spending any money to legalize marijuana.

Another provision would stop Vice President Joe Biden and other senior officials from getting a pay raise.

Mikulski said negotiators agreed to details on all 12 sections of the bill, avoiding the need to write any of them as stopgap spending measures continuing the prior year’s funding.

The Senate plans to take up and pass the short-term extension once the House completes action. Any senator could delay passage of either measure for about four days, though no senators have said they will do so.

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