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House Lawmakers Concerned About Affects Of Spending Provisions On Sequestration

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House lawmakers say the spending bill includes too many special interest projects.
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House lawmakers say the spending bill includes too many special interest projects.

House lawmakers in the region are worried about new spending provisions included in a Senate spending bill to keep the government running after this month.

Last week, Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain held up the massive spending bill because it was crafted behind closed doors and includes what they call pet projects. The bill increases spending for some Pentagon weapons programs, child care programs, the National Institutes of Health and has incentives for certain minority groups.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran is an appropriator in the House, and says the legislation raises some concerns.

"There's all kinds of what appear to be special interest provisions in that appropriations bill," he says. "I just don't think we should be doing that. It doesn't seem particularly fair to the House, but certainly not to the American people."

Congress has to act, or the government will shut down on March 27. Moran says he's pessimistic about the bill's chances.

"If the Senate doesn't fix some of these provisions, I'm not sure that it's going to pass the House, and if it doesn't we're out of time," says Moran. "And then we've got another government shutdown, which would just be inexcusable."

Democrats, like Moran, do like that the Senate bill provides some government agencies more flexibility to help them deal with sequestration.

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