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Congress Works Weekend to Wrap Up Bills

by Pamela Leavey

AP News reports that Congress is working this weekend “searching for pre-holiday deals on the anti-terrorism law, military spending and budgets for big domestic agencies.”

Among the items other than the renewal of the Patriot Act awaiting action in Congress are:

_the Republicans’ $40 billion-plus, five-year spending cut plan. It would take on the spiraling growth of federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and student loan subsidies. It is part of a campaign by Republican leaders to burnish their party’s budget-cutting credentials as they try to reduce a deficit swelled by the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina.

_the $453 billion defense budget. Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, is trying to add a plan for oil drilling in a wildlife refuge in Alaska. The legislation already combines Pentagon money with that for the war in Iraq with hurricane relief aid and a scaled-down plan to fight bird flu.

_a $602 billion appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. GOP moderates in the Senate dislike the spending levels for many programs.

One Response to “Congress Works Weekend to Wrap Up Bills”

  1. You can count on the Senate GOP to push to the last limit votes on bills that are huge abuses of power.

    We certainly can be happy to have people like kerry to fight against them, as none of these bills should be voted as they are now.