House Passes First 2014 Spending Bill

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 by NADO Admin

On June 4, the U.S. House of Representatives easily approved the first 2014 spending bill (H.R. 2216) (http://www NULL.gpo NULL.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr2216rh/pdf/BILLS-113hr2216rh NULL.pdf) of the year, funding military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).The bill found broad support from both parties despite threats that Obama would veto the bill, passing the House in a 421-4 vote, clearly over the two-thirds veto-proof mark. Click here (http://www NULL.gpo NULL.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr2216rh/pdf/BILLS-113hr2216rh NULL.pdf) to view the full bill. Click here (http://appropriations NULL.house NULL.gov/uploadedfiles/06 NULL.04 NULL.13_fy_2014_military_construction_and_veterans_affairs_bill_-_floor_adopted_amendments NULL.pdf) to view the amendments.

The legislation spends $73.3 billion, most of which goes to the VA, and includes additional funding to help that department work through a much-criticized backlog of veterans disability claims. It also spends several billion on military construction projects, such as hospitals, schools, and family housing. The House bill is $1.4 billion above the enacted level for fiscal year 2013, and approximately $2.4 billion above the current level caused by automatic sequestration spending cuts which do not affect Veterans spending.

All four “no” votes came from Democrats with the major objection to the bill being the context in which it was written. Democrats faulted Republicans for pushing ahead with Defense and security-related bills with boosting spending, which would mean reduced budgets for social programs. Democrats also continue to oppose spending bills based solely on the House–passed budget plan (http://thehill NULL.com/blogs/floor-action/house/303387-house-deems-passage-of-ryan-budget-to-start-approps-process) and said individual spending bills should only be pursued after the House and Senate work out a budget agreement. The House’s spending plan keeps sequestration in place with a $967 billion budget, while the Obama Administration and Senate want to replace sequestration and set spending levels at $1.059 trillion for FY2014. This is a $92 billion spending difference between the two chambers.

House passage of the FY2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill sends it to the Senate, but given the uncertainty about the budget and the process for handling spending bills this year, it’s not clear whether or when the Senate will consider it.

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