Congress Averts a Government Shutdown, Approves Funding Through September

Congress Averts a Government Shutdown, Approves Funding Through September

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The Senate followed the House in passing a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill that folded a year’s worth of legislating into one 1,600 page document. The legislation provides year-long funding for every federal agency except the Department of Homeland Security, which was singled out for short-term appropriations by Republicans objecting to President Obama’s executive actions removing the threat of deportation for five million individuals in the country illegally. The so-called “Omnibus” bill provides level funding and some increases for some programs, but funding for the Internal Revenue Service, which enforces the tax laws and provides educational assistance to nonprofits, was reduced out of continuing concern over allegations that IRS employees discriminated against conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The bill includes numerous controversial provisions, such as language weakening the Dodd-Frank law regulation of banks and a hike in the level that individuals can contribute to political parties for certain purposes. In passing the legislation, which President Obama has said he will sign, Congress averted shutting down the federal government.

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