Massive budget bill faces opposition in US
WASHINGTON: The fate of House legislation to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments and fund the war in Afghanistan for another year is now in the hands of the Senate, where it faces uncertain prospects. The House passed the bill Wednesday evening by a 212-206 vote. It would cap the annual operating budgets of federal agencies at the $1.2 trillion approved for the recently finished budget year - a $46 billion cut of more than 3 percent from President Barack Obama's request. It includes $159 billion to prosecute the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq next year and deals a blow to Obama's efforts to close the Navy-run prison for terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The 423-page measure, opposed by Republicans, conservative Democrats and some anti-war lawmakers, wraps a dozen unfinished spending bills into a single measure. Senate Democrats are working on a different approach that would provide slightly more money and would include thousands of pet projects sought by lawmakers. It's unclear whether that measure can get enough support from GOP old-timers to survive a filibuster by party conservatives. -Ap