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Search Tags: House
The Rules Committee voted late Monday to allow the House to begin voting on NSA amendments. The amendments cut funds for surveillance programs and impose limits on their operations.
Top officials at the Treasury Department and the General Services Administration say budget cuts being considered by House lawmakers - and that have since adopted by the House Appropriations Committee - would erode their agencies' missions. In sharply divided vote mostly along partisan lines Wednesday, the committee approved the fiscal 2014 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.
In the past few weeks, competing draft proposals have been circulating on Capitol Hill. But at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took a step toward compromise. Issa agreed to make changes to his draft plan, including adopting several measures proposed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in postal reform legislation he separately introduced Wednesday.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government passed the fiscal 2014 appropriations bill with a provision to merge the E-Government Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund to create an Information and Engagement Fund for citizens. Appropriators also would cut the total request for the merged funds by about $15 million.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put the ball in Congress' court this week when he released details of how the Pentagon would manage billions of dollars in cuts if sequestration continues into fiscal 2014 and beyond. But, there's not yet anything close to a winning strategy in Congress to avert or replace the automatic budget cuts.
The embattled Internal Revenue Service faces a 24 percent cut to its budget next year, under a spending plan introduced by the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday. The IRS funding was included in the committee's Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which also includes funding for the Treasury Department, the General Services Administration and the Executive Office of the President. The subcommittee is set to mark up the proposal Wednesday.
House Republicans said IRS official Lois Lerner waived her right to remain silent by giving an opening statement in her hearing. Lerner still may testify before Congress with a variety of consequences.
House members with constituents impacted by budget cuts to the Patent and Trademark Office and Department of Defense are taking steps to ease the effect of sequestration and furloughs.
The annual appropriations process is a complex and arduous Washington practice. But sequestration has snarled the process this year. As appropriators work to set agency funding, the House and the Senate disagree about how to account for the cuts in next year's spending plans.