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Home News Press Releases Kucinich Rejects Spending Bill Because of SOA/ WHINSEC Funding
Kucinich Rejects Spending Bill Because of SOA/ WHINSEC Funding PDF Print E-mail
The Cleveland Plain Dealer Andrew Taylor, AP December 14, 2007
Washington- Congressional negotiators struggled to cut hundreds of federal programs, big and small, as they fashioned a $500 billion-plus catchall government funding bill Thursday.
But agreement with the White House remained elusive, even though negotiations went ahead on the assumption that Democrats would largely accept President Bush's strict budget for domestic programs and that he would ease up a bit if additional funding for Iraq is approved.
In the meantime, the House passed a bill to keep the federal government open for another week to give negotiators time to fashion the omnibus spending bill, pass it in both the House and Senate and then adjourn for the year.
The House passed the short-term funding bill by a 385-27 vote; Senate approval Thursday evening sent it to Bush. It would fund through Dec. 21 the 14 Cabinet departments whose budgets have yet to pass.
All members of Congress from Ohio backed the bill, except Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland. His spokeswoman, Natlie Laber, said foreign operations money in the bill would fund a Georgia facility called the School of the Americas that trains Latin American soldiers, police and government officials. Graduates of the school have been accused of human rights abuses.
Kucinich led a protest outside the School of the Americas last month, and says it should be closed.
After months of battling, Democrats announced Wednesday they would all but surrender to Bush's demand that lawmakers appropriate no more than $933 billion for annual operating expenses for Cabinet departments whose budgets are set each year by Congress.
Democrats hoped to make an exception for a $3.7 billion increase for veterans health care, calculating that Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill would relent in the case of that politically sacrosanct program.
However, the White House was quick to say it had not signed on to the Democrats' measure, awaiting details of the bill's final cost, the funding mix within accounts, and the resolution of its request for additional Iraq and Afghanistan war funds.
Plain Dealer reporter Sabrina Eaton contributed to this story.
 

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