Factbox: Environment, high-speed rail hit in budget deal

Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:20pm EDT

(Reuters) - A massive spending-cut bill crafted by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders eliminates high-speed rail projects key to U.S. green energy goals, cuts border security efforts that Republicans said were already lagging and kills a controversial Pentagon jet fighter engine.

The budget measure is expected to be put to a vote on Thursday in the House of Representatives and by Friday in the Senate.

Without the legislation, government funding runs out at midnight on Friday.

If passed and sent to Obama to sign and enact into law, the measure would achieve $38 billion in overall spending cuts for the rest of this fiscal year, from 2010 levels. About $12 billion of those savings already have been enacted into law.

Some conservatives already are expressing opposition, saying the legislation falls short of what is needed to begin fixing an economy suffering from mounting debt and deficits.

Liberals say the bill focuses too narrowly on necessary domestic programs while letting unnecessary tax breaks for oil companies continue.

But so far, all signs point to passage in the House and Senate in a move to keep the government running through September 30.

Following are details on the spending cuts and some spending increases, according to congressional committees.

FINANCIAL REGULATORS

Modest funding increases for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which are both working to implement the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.

The proposed spending bill raises funding for the SEC by $74 million from 2010 levels to $1.19 billion and funding for the CFTC by $34 million to $202.7 million.

TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

A $12.3 billion, or 18 percent, cut for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development as well as related agencies.

It cuts $1.4 billion in funding for high-speed rail, $991 million for transit services and $3.2 billion from the Highway Trust Fund's contract authority. The bill also reduces the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Fund by $942 million.

ENVIRONMENT

A cut of $1.6 billion, or 16 percent, in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. The reductions would come as the agency is trying to gear up to regulate greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

DEFENSE

Overall, the measure increases Pentagon funding by $5 billion and includes $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations to advance U.S. military missions abroad.

But funds would be denied for a second engine for the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter -- a program the Obama administration has been trying to terminate. The bill also denies money for the non-line of sight cannon.

COMMERCE, JUSTICE AND SCIENCE

A $10.9 billion, or 17 percent, reduction for the Commerce Department, Justice Department and science programs at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A $946 million cut for the Justice Department focuses on grant and construction programs. The bill reduces Commerce Department funding by $6.5 billion, while prohibiting money for a climate service at NOAA and for bilateral NASA and science technology activities with China.

LABOR, HEALTH AND EDUCATION

A $5.5 billion, or 3.36 percent, cut for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.

The cuts include terminating two programs funded by Obama's healthcare reform legislation. The bill returns funding to 2008 levels for family planning services.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

A $504 million spending cut for the State Department and related foreign operations from 2010.

Provisions include a $377 million cut in U.S. contributions to the United Nations and other international organizations. The bill also reduces funding to international banks and financial institutions, and for family planning activities.

AGRICULTURE

A $3 billion cut that includes $10 million from food safety and inspection programs, $433 million from agricultural credit programs, $64 million from agricultural research and $126 million from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

A $2.4 billion, or 10 percent, reduction including most Treasury and White House accounts and construction money for new federal buildings. The bill also provides a $13 million increase for scrutinizing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, restores a provision against the use of federal and local funds for abortions in the District of Columbia and eliminates administration "czar" positions for healthcare, climate change, autos and urban affairs.

ENERGY AND WATER

A $1.7 billion, or 5 percent, reduction in funding for federal energy and water programs.

A legislative summary provides few details but says the bill meets Obama's $4.9 billion budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provides a $627 million, or 7 percent, increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

HOMELAND SECURITY

A $784 million, or 2 percent, cut for the Department of Homeland Security that includes funding for border security fencing, infrastructure and technology and FEMA first responders. The bill also caps the number of airport screeners at 46,000.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Richard Cowan and John Crawley in Washington; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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