The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

January 15, 2014

Editorial: House’s spending bill a rare bipartisan compromise

ENID, Okla. — Hold on to your hats. Congress actually managed to get something done.

The House, by an overwhelming 359-67 vote, approved on Wednesday a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that funds virtually every agency of government and is full of compromises. This type of bipartisan work hasn’t been seen much in Washington lately.

No one in Congress is totally pleased with the legislation, as conservatives and liberals all had to make concessions.

Defense spending is frozen at $487 billion, although $6 billion was added to President Barack Obama’s war request.

Domestic programs will be kept, on average, at levels agreed to last year before automatic cuts of 5 percent kicked in across the board. Those cuts, called sequestration, were triggered by Washington’s inability to follow up a 2011 budget deal with additional deficit savings.

NASA, the FBI and the Border Patrol all won spending increases, while Transportation Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid all took cuts. There’s money to repair the iconic cast iron dome of the U.S. Capitol, full funding for food aid for low-income pregnant women and their children, and a $150 million increase over 2013 for high-priority transportation infrastructure projects.

The legislation will fund the federal government through October, but it does not address Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.

One thing that helped the process along it that this year is an election year. All seats in the House and many in the Senate are up for election, and we’re pretty sure many lawmakers didn’t want to be branded as obstructionist and give ammunition to their opponents.

We’re happy to see something finally done, but we also expect more fireworks — and more partisan politics — to come after November’s elections.

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