The House completed its work on the nine remaining spending measures for fiscal year 2012 earlier today in a funding package that is consistent with the $1.043 trillion cap on discretionary spending set by the "Budget Control Act."
In an eleventh hour finale, lawmakers sealed an agreement to fund 10 Cabinet agencies through September 30, 2012, at levels lower than the previous year in an effort to trim government debt. The bill eliminates 42 government programs and rolls back non-defense spending to approximately 2008 levels. All other domestic agencies were funded in a separate November package.
Republicans scored a victory in delaying energy-efficiency rules that could eliminate incandescent light bulbs, while Democratic members recorded a win in easing restrictions on people who visit and transmit money to relatives in Cuba.
The measure does not include funding for the Internal Revenue Service to gear up for the president's health care law but does increase funding for border agents to enforce immigration laws.
My support for this legislation is testimony of my commitment to drive down spending and shrink the size of the federal government. However, I remain convinced that our nation's long-term financial challenges will not improve without entitlement reform and a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Press reports indicate that the Senate will consider and pass the plan in the next 36 hours.
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Member of Congress