Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

House passes $1.1 trillion bill to fund government

By
From page A1 | January 16, 2014 | 5 Comments

WASHINGTON — A $1.1 trillion spending bill for operating the government until just before next fall’s election steamed through the battle-weary House on Wednesday over tepid protests from tea party conservatives, driven by a bipartisan desire to restore painful cuts in domestic and defense programs and show disaffected voters that Congress can do its job.

The bill swept through the House on a 359-67 vote and was on track for a big Senate vote by week’s end. Republicans voted for the bill by a 2 1/2-1 margin, and just three Democrats were opposed.

The measure funds virtually every agency of government and contains compromises on almost every one of its 1,582 pages. It covers the one-third of government spending subject to annual decisions by Congress and the White House, programs that have absorbed the brunt of budget cuts racked up since Republicans reclaimed control of the House three years ago.

Excluded are the giant benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps that run on autopilot and are increasingly driving the government deeper into debt.

Tea party Republicans, chastened after sparking a 16-day partial shutdown of the government in October in a kamikaze attempt to derail President Barack Obama’s health care law, appeared resigned to the bill.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of opposition,” one tea party leader, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said before the vote. “The die has been cast for the next year on budget fights.”

To buy time for the Senate debate, Congress on Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a three-day funding bill in time to avert a scheduled shutdown at midnight. The Senate cleared that measure by an 86-14 vote.

The bill increases core agency spending by $26 billion over the fiscal 2013 year that began Oct. 1, after last year’s automatic spending cuts took them to $986 billion. But it’s $31 billion less than Congress passed last March before automatic cuts known as sequestration took effect.

The Pentagon faces a tight squeeze even as it avoids what would have been another $20 billion wave of automatic cuts. The Pentagon’s core budget is basically frozen at $487 billion after most accounts absorbed an 8 percent automatic cut last year. Adding $6 billion to Obama’s war request provides some relief to readiness accounts, however, though active duty troop levels would still be cut by 40,000 to 1.36 million. It includes $85 billion for overseas military operations, a slight cut from last year.

Domestic programs generally fare better and are kept, on average, at levels agreed to last year before the automatic cuts of 5 percent kicked in across the board. Those broadly applied cuts, called sequestration, were triggered by Washington’s inability to follow up a 2011 budget deal with additional deficit savings.

NASA, the FBI and the Border Patrol all won spending increases at the expense of cuts to the Transportation Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid. There’s money to repair the iconic cast iron dome of the U.S. Capitol, full funding for food aid for low-income pregnant women and their children, and a $150 million increase over 2013 for high-priority transportation infrastructure projects. Army Corps of Engineers construction accounts get a more than $300 million hike over Obama’s request for flood control, shoreline protection and environmental restoration and other projects.

The bill fills out the budget agreement sealed last month by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the heads of the House and Senate Budget Committees. Murray and Ryan left it to the chairmen of Congress’ appropriations committees, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., to work out the details.

The measure changes a Ryan-Murray provision cutting military pension cost-of-living increases for working age retirees to exempt disabled veterans and surviving spouses from the cut. The Veterans Administration gets an almost automatic boost of $2.3 billion, almost 4 percent, driven by increased health care costs.

The lowest-common-denominator bill doesn’t contain big-ticket wins for either side, but the simple fact that a deal came together was seen as a win for Congress as an institution and its band of 81 appropriators. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, strongly pushed for a deal, even though the end product was a six-inch-high “omnibus” compilation of what was supposed to be a dozen separate spending bills. Presidents and lawmakers alike deride such measures.

The alternatives, however, were to allow automatic spending cuts to strike for a second year and risk another politically debilitating government shutdown.

Democrats celebrated winning an addition $1 billion over last year for the Head Start early childhood education program and excluding from the bill a host of conservative policy “riders” advanced by the GOP.

“We were able to strip out nearly all the new, divisive riders relating to abortion, contraception, gun control, immigration, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Dodd-Frank, environmental protection,” said Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. “This is very important to Democrats.”

Some Democrats said they would support it but only reluctantly, complaining that despite some increases, spending for education, health and other programs would still be too low.

“With this bill, we are waist deep in manure instead of neck deep in manure. Hooray, I guess,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said.

Republicans successfully “zeroed out” funding for high-speed rail, a slap at California Democrats, and they were able to keep tight limits on the implementation of “Obamacare” and the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations.

Civilian federal workers would get their first pay hike in four years, even if it is just 1 percent. The bill contains a familiar provision backed by postal worker unions prohibiting the Postal Service from ending Saturday mail delivery and closing rural post offices even as it hemorrhages money.

Conservatives complained that the bill keeps the money flowing to wasteful programs, but the actual debate was a sleepy affair dominated by the old-school lawmakers who populate the Appropriations Committee.

“What’s this money going for?” said Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. “It continues funding for the scandalous Essential Air Service that pays to fly empty and near empty planes across the country. It continues to throw money at all manner of immensely expensive and failed green energy programs and other forms of corporate welfare.”

The much-criticized Essential Air Service, which subsidizes airlines serving smaller rural airports and enjoys support from many conservatives whose districts benefit from its largess, would receive a record budget of $249 million. House-proposed reforms to limit per-ticket subsidies to no more than $500 were stripped out of the measure, preserving service to the average three people a day flying out of Great Bend, Kansas, and the two people who fly out of Glendive, Mont., per day.

The bill also blocks the Federal Emergency Management Agency from increasing flood insurance premiums on people whose homes are found to be in flood zones after FEMA remapping, a strike against changes enacted in 2012.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterJanuary 16, 2014 - 6:31 am

    I wouldn't trust these people with a bottle of paste and round-tipped scissors... how we let them be in charge of our money and our lives makes no sense.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 16, 2014 - 11:11 am

    Its an election year! Let the orgy of irresponsible spending continue!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • pornacJanuary 16, 2014 - 11:41 am

    All the politicians who voted for this must go.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 16, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    What, sequester "worked?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895January 16, 2014 - 10:54 pm

    Loos at what Republicans consider their wins, notably hamstringing the Dodd-Frank financial regulations. So when Republicans tout "freedom," it DOES mean keeping the "smartest guys in the room" free to rip off everybody else and get away with it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

‘Same Time, Next Year’ opens in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 11 Comments | Gallery

‘We Got Next’ Comedy Tour stops at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 16 Comments | Gallery

Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 8 Comments

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 4 Comments | Gallery

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Food brings back fond memories

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 15 Comments

Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My husband tells our sons that they don’t need to listen to me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B13

 
Horoscopes for April 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B13

.

Entertainment

 
Week in preview April 18-24, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13