Omnibus spending bill would cut D.C. funds by 1 percent
The District would get $11 million less from the federal government in 2011 than it did in 2010, if a newly released Senate version of an omnibus appropriations bill becomes law.
The House has already passed a continuing resolution that would maintain funding for D.C. and most other federal budget items at their current level for another year. But the Senate Appropriations Committee hopes to pass an omnibus bill instead that would combine 12 different new spending bills together, adding funding for some programs and cutting others. The Senate panel released a draft of the omnibus Tuesday, and committee leaders are working to get the 60 votes that would be necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster of the measure.
According to a summary of the omnibus financial services and general government appropriations bill, which carries funding for D.C., the District would get $741.3 million in federal payments for fiscal 2011, a decrease of 1.4 percent from the 2010 level of $752.1 million, but an increase of 1.6 percent over the amount President Obama requested in his budget.
Just over three-quarters of the omnibus money -- $572 million -- would go toward paying the salaries and expenses of local courts and their support services. The District government would get $170 million, of which $108 million would be slated for "education-related functions."
The bill to fund D.C. includes four earmarks specifically for the city: $1 million for the Children's National Medical Center; $250,000 for the University of the District of Columbia Urban Teacher Residency Academy; $125,000 for a Bread for the City dental clinic; and $100,000 for the Recreation Wish List Committee, the nonprofit run by former D.C. first lady Cora Masters Barry.
The omnibus includes a host of other provisions that will steer money to the District via federal agencies, including funding to continue construction of a new Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Southeast. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) put out a press release lauding several specific funding items when the individual financial services spending bill passed the Appropriations Committee in July.
Senate Democrats hope to hold a vote on the omnibus measure this week. If it passes, the House would have to vote next. If it fails in the Senate, the chamber would likely take up the House-passed resolution that simply continues 2010 funding levels.
| December 14, 2010; 3:41 PM ET
Categories: Ben Pershing, City Finances, Congressional Oversight
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