20 December 2009

Defense Spending Bill clears first hurdle

The Senate has has approved $636 billion in military spending, and some other crap, as well.

The U.S. Senate approved a $636 billion military spending bill on Saturday that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also includes money to extend jobless aid and Medicare payment rates for two months.

By a vote of 88-10, the Senate approved the bill and sent it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday.

The bill covers Pentagon operations through September 30, 2010. But the $128 billion approved for ongoing wars probably will not be enough to cover Obama's plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

The spending bill represents a partial victory for Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who had sought to eliminate unwanted weapons programs over the objections of lawmakers who see them as a source of skilled manufacturing jobs.

Congress eliminated funding for Lockheed Martin Corp's F-22 fighter jet, as Obama had requested.

But lawmakers funded 10 more Boeing Co C-17 transport planes than the Pentagon had asked for, at a cost of $2.5 billion.


Oh yeah, and...
The bill also would extend a handful of unrelated programs that otherwise would expire at the end of the year, or have expired already.
Programs extended through February 28, 2010, include:
* Jobless benefits and health-insurance subsidies for the unemployed
* The antiterrorism USA Patriot Act, which gives law enforcement enhanced investigative powers
* Current reimbursement rates for doctors under the national Medicare health insurance program for the elderly, averting a 21 percent pay cut
* Current highway and transit programs
* Loosened regulations designed to encourage small business lending. The Small Business Administration will continue to waive or reduce its loan fees and back 90 percent of the loans it oversees
* A law that allows satellite television providers to retransmit broadcast-TV signals


By: Brant

2 comments:

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Brant said...

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