Lawmakers Unveil $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Negotiators in the U.S. Congress unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending bill that aims to prevent another government shutdown, as well as boost funding levels slightly for military and domestic programs — but not for “Obamacare.” With a deadline looming at midnight Wednesday for new spending authority, lawmakers will still need a three-day stop-gap funding extension to ensure enough time for passage of the spending bill this week. The measure eases across-the-board spending cuts by giving an extra $45 billion for military and domestic discretionary programs for fiscal 2014, to a total of $1.012 trillion. It also provides an additional $85.2 billion for Afghanistan war funding that is typically handled off-budget. The spending measure fills in the details of a budget agreement passed in December in the wake of a 16-day shutdown of many government agencies in October. The shutdown largely was caused by disputes about funding for “Obamacare” health insurance. Although many programs will get a slight increase from 2013 levels and avoid steep cuts previously slated for this year, the proposed bill does not provide any increase for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.