Highlights of proposed Senate spending bill
The Senate's yearlong spending bill introduced by the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday:
— Provides $1.27 trillion for federal programs running through the end of the 2011 fiscal year next Sept. 30. That's somewhat less than the budget proposed by President Barack Obama but about $18 billion above the spending bill the House narrowly passed last week.
— Covers discretionary federal programs but not entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and repayment of the national debt.
— Runs to 2,000 pages and includes thousands of so-called earmarks, those special projects requested by individual members. The 423-page House bill, which essentially freezes spending at 2010 budget-year levels, has no earmarks.
— Provides to the Pentagon $668 billion, including $158 billion to conduct the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some $2.6 billion goes to the health care needs of veterans of those conflicts.
— Provides Homeland Security $43.5 billion, about $1 billion above 2010 levels. That includes $5.6 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, $7.5 billion for FEMA and $10 billion for customs and border protection to fully fund 20,500 Border Patrol agents.
— Provides $53.5 billion for State Department operations. That includes $23 billion for bilateral economic aid, down more than $1 billion, and $9 billion for international security assistance, including peacekeeping.
— Provides $25 billion for student financial aid. Maintains the maximum grant for the Pell Grant program for low-income college students at $5,550.
— Provides $3.8 billion for state and local law enforcement, $345 million more than the president requested.
— Challenges Obama with administration-opposed provisions to block the Pentagon from transferring prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States and to continue a program to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.