House passes $45B homeland security spending bill

Friday, June 7, 2013
By Paul Martin
June 6, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Thursday passed a $45 billion measure boosting the Homeland Security Department’s budget by about 2 percent above spending levels imposed by an ongoing round of automatic budgets cuts.

The 245-182 vote sent the measure to the Senate, which was likely to unveil a modestly more generous version later this month.

The increases in the bill come as Republicans controlling the chamber are forcing deep cuts in the operating budgets of domestic agencies like Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.

President Barack Obama opposes the overall GOP plan, which cuts the overall “cap” on discretionary appropriations passed by Congress each year more than $90 billion below the level called for in a hard-fought budget pact approved two years ago.

The measure boosts funding for Border Patrol agents and restores cuts sought by Obama to a popular program that gives first responder grants to local governments. The bill funds a variety of homeland security functions, including the Transportation Security Administration, the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, immigration enforcement, and disaster prevention and recovery.

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