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Spending bill rolls back funding for controversial ObamaCare programs


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195332-spending-bill-rolls-back-funding-forThe Hill:

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Monday trumpeted funding cuts to some of the GOP’s most despised ObamaCare programs in the newly unveiled $1 trillion omnibus spending bill.


“The bill halts any new funding for ObamaCare – and goes even further by slicing into existing ObamaCare funding – to prevent the unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars on this flawed law,” Rogers said in a statement.

The bill reduces the Prevention and Public Health (PPH) fund by $1 billion.

The PPH fund was originally a $15 billion program aimed at supporting prevention and public health activities, but has suffered a handful of cuts since its inception, and has been a primary target for House Republicans attempting to dismantle portions of the law.

Because the entirety of the money in the PPH fund isn’t earmarked for specific activities, Republicans have called it a “slush fund” that Health and Human Services (HHS) can access without restraint.Scissors-32x32.png

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Omnibus deal cuts EPA spending, ends light bulb ban


Republicans won several energy and environment concessions in the $1.012 trillion fiscal 2014 spending bill House and Senate lawmakers unveiled late Monday, though attempts to handicap a slew of Environmental Protection Agency regulations did not make it into the final version.


The package will maintain spending levels for a review of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site, end funding for the federal light bulb standard and soften policies that restrict public financing for construction of coal-fired power plants abroad.


The overall deal would fund the government through Sept. 30, preventing another government shutdown. Since current funding expires Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to push through a stopgap measure to keep the government open until both chambers can vote on the spending plan.


The EPA would get $8.2 billion, a drop of $143 million compared with enacted fiscal 2013 levels. DOE energy programs would get $10.2 billon, a bump of $620 million. The Interior Department, which oversees national parks and energy development on federal land, would get $1.1 billion, amounting to a $44 million increase.Scissors-32x32.png


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Spending bill takes first swipe at NSA over domestic spying


Tucked inside the massive new government spending bill are several demands from Congress that the National Security Agency finally report to Congress on the details of its snooping programs, including the number of telephone records collected and the number actually viewed by NSA employees.


The 1,532-page bill, which funds the government for fiscal year 2014, also demands the NSA report on all of its other bulk data collection programs, which could expose some of the email tracking programs the government has reportedly run.Scissors-32x32.png


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The bipartisan Murray-Ryan budget agreement has now been “fleshed out” into an omnibus spending bill, as Fox News puts it. It’s 1,582 pages long, which is a lot of flesh. If you plan on reading it before your representatives vote, you’d better get cracking, because you only have until tomorrow afternoon, even though Republicans promised there would be minimum 72-hour review periods for legislation when they took control of the House in 2010. Based on media accounts, the bill seems to have most of the strengths and weaknesses of the Murray-Ryan outline; its primary strength is how deeply disappointed everyone on both sides of the aisle finds it, which makes it a “bipartisan” compromise in dismay. Hey, it’s the best your bloated mega-government can do.Scissors-32x32.png


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