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Archive for Friday, February 18, 2011

Controversial proposals in House GOP spending bill

February 18, 2011

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The House Republicans’ $1.2 trillion bill for financing federal programs the rest of the year is littered with spending cuts and prohibitions that make a showdown with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats inevitable this year.

Among the biggest flashpoints are provisions that would:

• Cut about $60 billion in spending from last year’s levels in a wide swath of domestic programs, including education, environmental protection and community services.

• Block money to implement Obama’s health care overhaul law enacted last year.

• Bar federal funds for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion and family planning services with its hundreds of clinics across the U.S. The organization says 90 percent of the $363 million a year it receives in government aid comes from Washington or the federal-state Medicaid program.

• Eliminate federal family planning and teen pregnancy prevention grants.

• Block federal aid to overseas groups that provide abortions or counsel women about them.

• Cut the Social Security Administration, which the agency has warned might force it to furlough workers. Democrats say furloughs would slow the flow of benefits to program recipients, while Republicans say offices would not close and call such threats political fear-mongering.

• Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing regulations curbing emissions of gases that cause global warming.

• Stop the Federal Communications Commission from preventing broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic on their networks.

• Reduce Pell Grants for lower-income college students by $5.6 billion, which the White House says would reduce the maximum $5,550 grant by $845.

• Cut $747 million in food aid for poor pregnant women and women with children up to the age of 5.

• Eliminate federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

• Halt financing for the Americorps national service program, which pays people to do public service jobs.

• Limit this year’s budget for the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to $80 million. It would also cut the budgets of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, charged with enforcing other parts of the financial overhaul law.

• Prevent the administration from enforcing a proposed rule making it harder for students at for-profit colleges to get federal loans and grants.

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