* Administration programs on hold due to spending snafu
* $1.1 bln price tag lower than administration request
* Would make Republican-backed budget cuts harder
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 The U.S. House of
Representatives is likely to vote this week on a measure that
could fund the new Dodd-Frank financial-industry crackdown and
other priorities of the Obama administration, aides said on
Though the spending bill has not taken its final shape, it
could give the administration the resources it has requested
for Dodd-Frank, counter-insurgency efforts, nuclear
nonproliferation and other initiatives that have been stalled
due to a partisan standoff in Congress over spending.
It also would secure funding for government operations
through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That would make
it more difficult for Republicans to enact immediate budget
cuts when they take control of the House in January.
But its total price -- roughly $1.1 trillion, according to
a Senate aide -- would be billions of dollars less than the
administration sought in its original request.
Though the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, the government has
been operating essentially on automatic pilot because Congress
has failed to pass the 12 bills needed to fund government
Through a series of "continuing resolutions," lawmakers
have extended last year's budget through Dec. 18 to buy time to
wrap up their work.
This approach has allowed everything from national parks to
job-training programs to continue operating, but it has
prevented government agencies from handing out new research
grants, starting new construction projects and launching other
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The Commodity Futures Exchange Commission, for example, has
had no increase in funding as it begins the mammoth task of
cracking down on the vast derivatives market as outlined under
Dodd-Frank, the wide-ranging rewrite of financial regulations
named after the two Democratic lawmakers who oversaw its
passage earlier this year.
Senate Democrats hope to pass all 12 bills in one massive
package, but it is unclear whether they will be able to
overcome expected Republican opposition.
The bill taking shape in the House would extend the
"continuing resolution" through the end of the fiscal year. It
would require considerable tweaking, however, to allow
government agencies to ramp down programs that are no longer
needed, such as the once-in-a-decade census, and move forward
with initiatives like Dodd-Frank.
The administration has sent Congress a list of dozens of
such "anomalies" that it hopes appropriators will add to the
continuing resolution, according to a document obtained by
Many of these requests are likely to be included in the
final bill, a Senate Democratic aide said.
- $75 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,
a 45 percent increase over 2010 levels, to hire the additional
staff needed to carry out its expanded role under Dodd-Frank;
- $16.7 million more for the Treasury Department, a 5
percent increase, for Dodd-Frank;
- a $400 million transfer of funds within the Defense
Department for military construction projects in Afghanistan to
support counterinsurgency objectives there;
- $1.8 billion for Defense Department health costs;
- $550 million for nuclear nonproliferation efforts;
- $470 million for nuclear and alternative-energy
- $800 million for the Education Department's "Race to the
- $1.8 billion more for foreign aid, including $200 million
for counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan.
(Editing by Philip Barbara)