U.S. House votes to keep spending cuts in place and avert government shutdown

Legislation will give military more flexibility to deal with spending cuts that went into effect last week and keep the federal government running through September.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 6, 2013
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“In the history of the United States, we will have more money to spend than we have ever spent before,” Cole said.

Some Democrats argued that the legislation approved Wednesday was inadequate to cover the needs of domestic agencies in the wake of the spending cuts.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said agency budgets were being “slashed in a mindless, senseless way” and that Republicans were more interested in protecting tax loopholes used by oil companies than the 750,000 job losses predicted to result from the spending cuts.

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the bill would delay implementation of the health insurance exchanges that are being established as part of the health care bill passed in 2009.

The White House budget office issued a statement expressing concerns about the bill but stopping short of threatening a veto.

Most agencies “are left to operate at last year's level, which will impede their ability to provide services to Americans and efficiently allocate funding to key programs including those in infrastructure, clean energy, education, and research and development,” the White House statement says.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, said the cuts would “rein in many out-of-control tentacles of the federal government such as the EPA and IRS.”

Mullin said, “I voted yes on this bill because it gives our military much-needed flexibility during sequestration and makes the spending cuts that are vital to finally balancing the budget permanent.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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In the history of the United States, we will have more money to spend than we have ever spent before.”

Rep. Tom Cole,,
R-Moore

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