Congress Approves $1.1 Trillion Budget; Kansas Legislators Split

(WIBW/CNN) -- The Senate on Thursday easily passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September and sent it to President Barack Obama, a notable departure from chronic, partisan-fueled budget battles in recent years that included the government shutdown last October.

While I oppose the unreasonably high topline spending level mandated by the Ryan-Murray budget deal, it is important to make certain the funds authorized by the budget agreement are spent wisely rather than continuing to throw taxpayer dollars at outdated priorities and unsuccessful programs," said Sen Jerry Moran (R-KS) who backed the bill. Fellow Republican Senator Pat Roberts voted against the bill.

“Kansas families have to live within a budget,” Roberts said. “As taxpayers, they expect the federal government to do the same. Unfortunately, the $1.11 trillion bill to fund the government’s discretionary spending busted the budget caps we set just a few years ago. We keep talking about the need for fiscal discipline, but Congress and the President just cannot seem to get it done.

The decisive bipartisan vote, 72-to-26, concluded congressional action that for the first time since 2012 determined federal spending agency by agency instead of through temporary stopgap measures that spotlighted the divisiveness in Washington.

The spending bill includes more than $400 million for the National Bio- and Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan as well as over $200 million for military construction at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita.

The House approved the budget measure on Wednesday in a strong bipartisan vote of 359-to-67. Reps. Jenkins (R-02) and Yoder (R-03) both voted for the bill, while Reps. Huelskamp (R-01) and Pompeo (R-03)

"With very few exceptions we've heard nothing but positive comments from my colleagues here in the Senate," Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said on the Senate floor as the vote neared.

Democrats were just as eager to brag about the budget as an example of a Congress that can indeed function.

"These efforts show that we Democrats and Republicans can work together for the good of the country," said one of the people most responsible for the bill, Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat. "We can avoid drama ... fiscal cliffs and shutdowns."

The sweeping bill hits nearly every corner of government. It includes a 1 percent pay increase for troops and a 1 percent cost-of-living boost for federal workers.

It also rolls back planned spending cuts at a number of agencies and programs, like the FBI and Head Start.

But it is less kind to other parts of government, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS, which have seen their budgets slashed in


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