By DAVID ROGERS, Politico
The Senate approved a $58.8 billion wartime spending bill Thursday night even as House Democrats ordered still more cuts from their jobs and economic relief package in a desperate triage operation to save core provisions before Memorial Day.
President Barack Obama is promised broad discretion â€” and funding â€” to pursue his expanded military commitments to Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan under the war appropriations, approved 67-28. But as many as 26 Republican senatorsâ€”more than half the partyâ€™s conferenceâ€”opposed the measure, reflecting deficit concerns. And the path ahead will get rockier given the fallout in the House from the fight over jobs and domestic spending.
The latest round of cuts would eliminate $31 billion to pay for health-related benefits for the unemployed and federal aid to cash-strapped states to maintain Medicaid services. A third $21.9 billion Medicare provision, protecting physicians from deep cuts in their reimbursements over the next 19 months, will be made subject to a separate up-or-down vote.
Left intact is $56.9 billion in tax-cut extensions and revenue offsets that pays for itself â€” as well as new infrastructure investments and summer jobs programs. This minimizes the deficit impact to about $40 billion in emergency funding to cover jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed through Nov. 30.
â€œI feel comfortable that we will have something that will reach our goals,â€ said Speaker Nancy Pelosi in anticipation of floor votes Friday before the House recesses for the holiday. But with senators already heading out the door, thereâ€™s no longer any real chance of enactment this week. And even when the Senate returns June 7, the whole effort will have lost the momentum Democrats once hoped to harness this week.
â€œWeâ€™re going to do our best but itâ€™s just going to take time,â€ Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Dâ€”Mont.) told POLITICO.
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.