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Politics House clears $1.3T spending bill with $210B in emergency cash

20:05  31 july  2020
20:05  31 july  2020 Source:   politico.com

House approves $1.3 trillion spending package for 2021

  House approves $1.3 trillion spending package for 2021 The House on Friday approved a $1.3 trillion package of spending bills for the 2021 fiscal year.The package, passed in a largely party-line 217-197 vote, included the Defense spending bill, as well as Labor-Health and Human Services-Education; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy and Water; Financial Services and General Government; and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development measures.The House has now approved all but two spending bills, though the remaining bills are not expected to receive floor consideration.Over half the funds in the bill were devoted to defense. It includes a 3 percent pay increase for troops, $9.3 billion for 91 F-35 fighter jets, $22.

The House approved a colossal $1.3 trillion spending package today that includes $210 billion in emergency money to help federal agencies fight the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to funding other priorities.

a large clock tower in front of United States Capitol: The House has now passed 10 out of 12 spending bills on the floor. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo The House has now passed 10 out of 12 spending bills on the floor.

The lower chamber cleared the six-bill bundle in a 217-197 vote. The legislation would fund the vast majority of the federal government next fiscal year, boosting budgets at the Pentagon and the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, Energy and more.

Jeffries on Senate coronavirus bill: 'Totally irrelevant'

  Jeffries on Senate coronavirus bill: 'Totally irrelevant' The head of the House Democratic Caucus said Wednesday that President Trump was only partly right in describing the Republicans' latest coronavirus relief bill as "semi-irrelevant.""The Republicans' coronavirus bill is not semi-irrelevant, it is totally irrelevant," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters in the Capitol. "It is dead-on-arrival. It is a non-starter. Half the Senate Republicans don't even seem to support the Senate Republican coronavirus bill.

The package also includes billions of dollars in off-the-book spending for state and local public health departments, public health prevention efforts, medical research, infrastructure, public housing and more.

The legislation has no shot in the Republican-controlled Senate and President Donald Trump has already threatened to veto it. But it still represents an opening offer from House Democrats in negotiations to pad federal agency coffers in fiscal 2021 and avoid a catastrophic government shutdown at the end of this fiscal year, which is on Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, the appropriations process is totally stalled in the Senate, with Democrats and Republicans bickering over whether to include emergency coronavirus cash in their annual spending bills. Congress is at an impasse over how to deliver another tranche of pandemic relief as unemployment ticks up and infections spike across the country. Combined with election year politics, lawmakers are likely on track to pass a short-term spending fix to keep the government open past Election Day.

Mnuchin Says Payroll Tax Holiday Not in Next Stimulus Bill

  Mnuchin Says Payroll Tax Holiday Not in Next Stimulus Bill A payroll tax holiday sought by President Donald Trump won’t be in the next stimulus package, but may be in follow-up virus relief legislation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. © Bloomberg Steven Mnuchin, center, wears a protective mask following the Senate Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on July 21. “It won’t be in the base bill but as we know, this is CARES 4.0, there could be CARES 5.0,” he said in a CNBC interview Thursday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Republicans have slammed House Democrats for loading up their spending bills with billions of dollars in emergency spending, arguing that the extra cash blows up a two-year budget deal struck last summer. That pact boosted spending and allotted a total of $740.5 billion in defense funding and $634.5 billion in nondefense funding for fiscal 2021.

GOP members have also railed against appropriations provisions that the president will never accept. The legislation passed on Friday, for example, would thwart the administration’s ability to shift more military funds toward a border wall. It would set aside $1 million for the Army to rename 10 bases that honor Confederate leaders. And it would condition hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local law enforcement grants on the elimination of racial profiling, implicit bias, the use of chokeholds and more.

The lower chamber adopted more than 300 amendments on Thursday, including a tweak quietly by voice vote that would block the Trump administration's restriction on transgender individuals serving in the military.

House passes amendment barring funding for transgender troops ban

  House passes amendment barring funding for transgender troops ban The House on Thursday passed an amendment aimed at overturning the Trump administration's transgender military ban.The measure, from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and 28 Democratic co-sponsors, was approved by voice vote as part of a group of a few dozen amendments passed while the House considers a $1.3 trillion spending package that includes the fiscal year 2021 defense appropriations bill.The amendment would block the use of funds to implement the Pentagon's transgender service policy, which says transgender people can only serve in the military if they do so in their biological sex or get a waiver.

“As we confront the twin crises of Covid-19 and systemic racism, the bill takes bold steps to build safer and stronger communities for all people,” House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who’s retiring at the end of this year, said on Thursday. “I am proud of the work we have completed under the incredibly difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.“

The $1.3 trillion minibus had originally included a measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security, but Democratic leaders were forced to torpedo it earlier this week amid strong resistance from both progressives and centrists within the caucus.

Passage of the massive appropriations package comes after the House approved a smaller four-bill, $259.5 billion bundle last week that would fund the departments of State, Interior, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and other agencies with billions of additional dollars.

The House has now passed 10 out of 12 spending bills on the floor. In addition to yanking the Homeland Security spending measure, House leaders have no plans to consider the bill that funds parts of the legislative branch. That measure doesn’t include a cost-of-living adjustment for members of Congress — a past priority for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other lawmakers who’ve endured more than a decade of pay freezes.

Mnuchin says GOP has 'fundamental' deal on $1T coronavirus relief package

  Mnuchin says GOP has 'fundamental' deal on $1T coronavirus relief package The White House and Senate Republicans on Thursday reached a "fundamental agreement" on a coronavirus package, according to a top negotiator.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows - said staff were now trying to finalize text of the agreement, which is expected to be released as a group of bills instead of one piece of legislation."WeTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.


Video: State, municipal government aid part of debate over next COVID-19 relief package (WMUR Manchester)

House Democrat introduces bill to block oil drilling near polar bear dens .
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) has proposed a new bill aiming to prevent oil and gas drilling near polar bear dens, targeting the Trump administration's plans to open up a wildlife refuge in Alaska for drilling.The bill, introduced Thursday, would prohibit oil and gas exploration within one mile of a polar bear maternal denning habitat."Proposed oil exploration would further threaten this species, crushing and destroying their dens and cause some mother polar bears to abandon their maternity dens leaving any surviving cubs to perish," Huffman said in a statement on the proposal.

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