Highlights of $1T-plus year-end spending bill

Saturday - 12/17/2011, 4:17am EST

By The Associated Press

(AP) - Highlights of the $1 trillion-plus 2012 spending legislation in Congress:

_$518 billion for the Pentagon's core budget, a 1 percent boost, excluding military operations overseas.

_$115 billion for Pentagon war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, $43 billion less than 2011 costs.

_$7.2 billion to sustain and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

_$11.8 billion for the IRS, an almost 3 percent budget cut.

_$39.6 billion for homeland security programs, a 5 percent cut, though border security and immigration enforcement are increased.

_$8.4 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 6 percent cut from the president's request.

_$4.3 billion for the Indian Health Service, a 6 percent increase.

_$30.7 billion for health research, a 1 percent increase.

_$14.5 billion for Title I grants to schools, virtually the same as last year.

_$11.6 billion for grants to school districts for special needs children.

_$4.3 billion for Congress' own budget, a 5 percent cut.

_$122.2 billion for veterans programs.

_$3.5 billion for low-income heating and utility subsidies, a cut of about 25 percent.

_$53.3 billion for foreign aid and the State Department's budget.

_$8.1 billion for disaster aid.

_Reforms to the Pell Grant program that maintain the maximum award at $5,550 but limit the number of semesters the grants may be received and make income eligibility standards more strict.

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The measure also contains many policy provisions, including those to:

_Block detainees from Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to the United States.

_Block new energy efficiency regulations for light bulbs.

_Prohibit the District of Columbia government from funding abortions for poor women.

_Ban federal funding of needle exchange programs that help prevent the spread of AIDS among drug users.

_Delay new Labor Department regulations limiting coal dust in mines.

_Require the government to use the E-verify system to make sure new federal hires are eligible to work in the United States.

_Block the EPA or state regulators from requiring clean water permits for the construction of timber roads.

_Delay voluntary guidelines on the food industry to limit marketing to children of foods that have high fat, sugar or sodium levels.

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Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration succeeded in dumping numerous other GOP policy "riders" from the bill, including attempts to:

_Block funding of various steps required to implement the new laws overhauling health care and financial regulation.

_Block Environmental Protection Agency rules on greenhouse gases, mountaintop removal mining and hazardous emissions from utility plants, industrial boilers and cement kilns. GOP efforts to block EPA rules on coal ash and large-scale discharges of hot water from utility plants were also blocked.

_Eliminate funding for family planning programs in the U.S. and overseas.

_Block Obama administration rules easing restrictions on people who visit and send money to relatives in Cuba.

_Ban taxpayer subsidies from being used to purchase National Public Radio programming.

_Eliminate taxpayer grants to Planned Parenthood.

_Require all teen pregnancy prevention grants to go to abstinence-only programs.

_Eliminate the option of public financing of presidential campaigns.

_Block "net neutrality" rules to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against those who send content and other services over their networks.

_Bar the Consumer Product Safety Commission from creating a public database of product safety concerns.


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