Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Highlights of end-of-session spending, tax bills in Congress

House Speaker Paul Ryan says a discussed bill would provide benefits to sickened Sept. 11 emergency responders.

Associated Press

House Speaker Paul Ryan says a discussed bill would provide benefits to sickened Sept. 11 emergency responders.

The White House and top lawmakers are struggling to wrap up a year's worth of budget work and let Congress adjourn next week for 2015. At issue are a $1.1 trillion governmentwide spending bill and a sprawling renewal of tax breaks for businesses and individuals that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

Here are some of the top issues in play:

• Overall spending: Guided by a bipartisan deal struck in October, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans have settled most of their differences over 2016 spending by government agencies. With Republicans dominating bill details, the departments of Veterans Affairs, Justice and Defense will get the healthiest increases, while Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency won't do as well.

Government Shutdown? Probably not this year. With agency money running out Saturday, the Senate approved legislation financing government through next Wednesday to give negotiators time to craft a final deal. House passage was expected Friday.

• POLICY FIGHTS: Battles over an array of issues have become the biggest obstacles to finishing the spending package.

• NOT HAPPENING: Facing an Obama veto threat, Republicans will not include language unraveling the president's 2010 health care overhaul or halting federal payments to Planned Parenthood. Other disputes include:

• ENVIRONMENT: Republicans want to block new Obama administration emissions standards for power plants, thwart a rewrite of clean water rules, prevent curbs on "fracking" on federal lands and limit new regulations on ozone.

• CUBA: A senior Cuban-American lawmaker wants to block Obama from loosening travel restrictions to Cuba, part of administration efforts to improve ties with the island nation.

• TRUCKING: Industry lobbyists want to allow longer tandem trucks and block rules requiring added rest for drivers.

• FINANCIAL SERVICES: The industry wants to relax tighter regulations imposed by a 2010 law in response to the Great Recession.

• CAMPAIGN SPENDING: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., seems likely to win a change in campaign finance law to lift spending limits by party committees of behalf of candidates for federal office.

• SYRIAN REFUGEES: Following last month's Paris attacks, Republicans want to include a House-passed bill making it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States. Faced with an Obama veto threat, that may be replaced by a measure, approved with bipartisan support by the House, restricting visa-free entry into the country by many foreigners.

• SICKENED 9/11 EMERGENCY RESPONDERS: House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told colleagues the bill will provide benefits for such workers. An existing program is expiring.

• FOOD: Efforts include repealing a law requiring that meat be labeled with its country of origin, renewing nutrition standards for school lunches and blocking mandatory labels for genetically modified foods. Also possible: easing proposed regulations on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products.

• GUNS: House Democrats were demanding an end to long-running restrictions against gun violence research by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Highlights of end-of-session spending, tax bills in Congress 12/10/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida

    Crime

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  2. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes

    National

    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]
  3. Karen Lugo, 13, from Tampa, holds up her IPad Mini to take a picture of herself while relaxing in the sand alongside her mother, Karen Castro (on left), at the North Beach area of Fort DeSoto on Memorial Day (05/27/13). Karen comes to the beach with her family for holidays, she said. Also present was her older brother and three cousins.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  5. To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

    Nation

    ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached — a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers.

    Sgt. Heather Lynn Johnsen, of Roseville, Calif., guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Friday, March 22, 1996, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. [Associated Press file]