Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Congress reaches sweeping deal on spending, oil export ban and tax breaks

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, examines a printout of the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the 2016 budget year and extend $650 billion in tax cuts.

Associated Press

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, examines a printout of the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the 2016 budget year and extend $650 billion in tax cuts.

WASHINGTON — In an unusually ambitious swoop, Congress is poised this week to approve a mammoth legislative package that jams a year's worth of work into one deal.

The compromise is headed for votes today and Friday.

The core of the package is the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded through fiscal 2016, reversing some of the steep cuts to defense and domestic accounts both parties wanted to undo.

On top of that, lawmakers are also passing a $650 billion tax package that deficit hawks lambasted as fiscally irresponsible, even though the breaks are routinely renewed for both business and ordinary Americans. Included are looser rules for using college savings plans and a permanent extension of the earned income tax credit for low-wage workers. Business would benefit from a faster depreciation credit.

What the new deal would do:

• Repeal a decades-old ban on exporting crude oil

• Make permanent $650 billion in tax breaks

• Adopt new cybersecurity rules

• Tighten visa requirements for some foreign visitors

• Expand the federal deficit by tens of billions of dollars a year

• Make permanent the child tax credit, one of the most significant anti-poverty tools

What the deal would block:

• An attempt to defund Planned Parenthood

• A plan to roll back Obamacare

• An attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country.

What the deal would postpone:

• Two Obamacare taxes, including one on high-priced heath care plans

Congress reaches sweeping deal on spending, oil export ban and tax breaks 12/16/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]