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Appropriations Package Approved By House, Senate To Consider Next

The House on Thursday “took a major step toward wrapping up the FY10 appropriations process when it approved, 221-202, a nearly $450 billion spending package that includes six of the seven annual appropriations bills Congress has yet to enact,” CongressDaily reports. The package includes the $48.7 billion State and Foreign Operations bill. “All Republicans, as well as 28 Democrats, opposed the bill,” according to CongressDaily (Sanchez, 12/10).

“Republicans claimed the measure would mean a 33 percent increase for foreign aid and the State Department, but once war-related funding and emergency funding shuffles are taken into account, the increase is more like 10 to 15 percent. A Democratic press release actually claims a modest overall spending cut but then lists a host of sizable gains when describing specific programs,” the Associated Press writes. “The increases to foreign aid were not directed at individual countries as much as initiatives such as health programs, food aid and developmental assistance for poor countries, and funding for additional foreign service officers,” according to the news service (Taylor, 12/10).

The package now moves to the Senate for consideration, according to a second AP article (Taylor [2], 12/10).

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