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House passes spending bill to protect national defense and veterans

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Washington, March 6, 2013 | comments

In an effort to help provide the Pentagon budget flexibility as it faces across-the-board cuts under sequestration, the House today passed a spending bill to continue government operations until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2013 (H.R. 933) by a vote of 267-151. Area Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) supported its passage. 

The legislation includes a full-year Defense Appropriations bill, as well as a full-year Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill.  These two individual bills passed the House last year on a broad bipartisan basis and have been negotiated by both the House and Senate. In addition, the measure denies over $1 billion in funding requested by the Administration for implementation of Obamacare. The bill does not include any new funding for the health care law, the vast majority of which falls under mandatory spending with other entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps.

"The country is facing some serious budget choices, and no government agency should be immune.  But, we can find ways to save significant money while protecting essential things like our national security.  This bill does just that by giving the Pentagon some flexibility in implementing the steep, automatic sequestration cuts they are facing while keeping overall spending at the lower levels," said Rep. Thornberry, who serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Except for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the spending will extend funding for other government agencies at last year’s levels. However, the funding within the bill is subject to sequestration cuts. This means that the funding rate within the legislation is approximately $982 billion – the level required by the President’s sequestration order.

“While the President and others in his Administration continue their sky-is-falling campaign to scare Americans about the immediate impact of sequestration, in the House we are focused on using careful, targeted, and responsible cuts to get our fiscal house in order," said Thornberry.
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