From The Associated Press
Top lawmakers Tuesday released a massive 1,603-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill funding every government agency but the Homeland Security Department through Sept. 30, 2015. The measure also contains dozens of policy provisions affecting financial regulations, the environment, school lunches and regulations requiring truckers get more rest. Provisions include:
— Overall spending. $1.013 trillion for core agency budgets for day-to-day operations, with $521 billion for defense and $492 billion for non-defense. That represents about one-third of the federal budget and is essentially a freeze at current levels. Another $64 billion is provided for overseas military operations.
— Defense. Provides a base budget of $490 billion to the Pentagon, a $3.3 billion increase. Maintaining 1.3 million active-duty troops and 820,800 reserves would cost $128 billion. Another $162 billion is provided for operations and maintenance; procurement of new weapons systems, including 38 new F-35 fighters, totals $92 billion.
— Overseas military operations. Provides $73.7 billion for overseas military operations and diplomatic efforts by the State Department to combat terrorism, including $3.4 billion to continue the air campaign against Islamic State militants and $1.6 billion to train the Iraqi military. Provides $4.1 billion to train and equip Afghanistan’s military.
— Homeland Security. Keeps the Homeland Security Department funded at current levels through Feb. 27. Its budget will be revisited next year when Republicans are hoping to roll back President Barack Obama’s recent moves on immigration.
— Ebola. Provides $5.4 billion of President Barack Obama’s $6.2 billion request to fight Ebola at home and abroad; $2.5 billion of the total would help African countries fight the disease, while $2.7 billion would go to the Health and Human Services Department, including $1.2 billion for Center for Disease Control and Prevention efforts to stop Ebola in West Africa and strengthen public health systems in at-risk countries.
— Foreign aid. Provides $49 billion for foreign aid programs, an almost $3 billion increase. Some $6 billion would help fight HIV/AIDS overseas, while $7.2 billion would be for economic and development programs. Israel would receive $3.1 billion in military aid; Egypt would receive $1.3 billion in military aid and $150 million in economic assistance. The Millennium Challenge Corporation, which directs aid to countries demonstrating economic and social progress, would receive $900 million.
— Environmental Protection Agency. Cuts the EPA budget by $60 million to $8.1 billion, or 21 percent below peak levels in 2010.
— Internal Revenue Service. Cuts the IRS by $346 million to $10.9 billion. Blocks the agency from targeting tea party organizations and other advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideology.
— Transportation. Provides $71 billion for transportation programs, including $40 billion in highway funding for states. Aid to Amtrak would be maintained at $1.4 billion.
— Housing. Provides $26 billion for Section 8 and other public housing programs for the poor. Add $10 billion for other housing programs, including help for the elderly and disabled.
— Crime-fighting. Provides $8.4 billion for the FBI, a slight increase; $2.4 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration; $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and $2.3 billion for various grants to state and local law enforcement.
— NASA. The space program would receive $18 billion, a $364 million increase. Of that, $4.4 billion is provided for the new Orion space-launch system, which last week had its first test launch.
— Food Aid. Provides $82 billion for food stamps as required by law; allots another $6.6 billion for a program that provides food aid to pregnant and nursing mothers and their young children. Another $21 billion goes to mandatory funding for the school lunch program and child nutrition programs.
— Capitol Dome. Provides $21 million to continue a project restoring the iconic cast-iron Capitol Dome, which is beset by crack and leaks.
— Likely to be amended to include legislation aimed at shoring up underfunded multiemployer pension plans, including a controversial provision that permits them to cut the benefits of current and future retirees to shore up severely distressed plans.
— Eases regulations under the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations that require banks to set up separately capitalized affiliates — ineligible for federal benefits such as deposit insurance — to deal in more exotic and riskier forms of complex financial instruments called swaps. Regulators could still “push-out” risky swaps based on asset-backed securities.
— Blocks new Transportation Department regulations that require truckers to get two nights of sleep before restarting the clock on their workweek. One effect of the rule was to shorten the maximum length of a trucker’s workweek from 82 hours to 70 hours.
— Relaxes rules slated to go into effect in 2017 that require more whole grains in school foods. Put off rules to lower sodium in school meals that were supposed to go into effect in 2017.
— Prohibits the use of federal or local funds from implementing a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington, D.C.
— Blocks the Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the Sage Grouse on the Endangered Species list, which Republicans claim will have economic benefits for Western states.
— Blocks the Justice Department from raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they are permitted.
— Prohibits the use of funds for a “National Roadside Survey” by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
— Bars funding for renovation of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a new London embassy and debt relief for foreign countries.
— Withholds money from the U.N. population fund, dollar for dollar, if it operates a program in China.
— Prohibits the transfer or release of detainees held at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; also bans construction of facilities to hold detainees within the U.S.
— Prohibits funding for the administration “light bulb standard,” which prevents the manufacture or sale of incandescent bulbs.
— Bars funding for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.
— Prohibits the use of funds for painting portraits.
— Prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead in ammunition or fishing tackle.
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