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House Passes Another Budget Bill, Senate Still at Zero

U.S. Representatives have now passed seven appropriations bills for fiscal 2015 while Senators have yet to pass one. The seventh measure impacts the IRS, Wall Street enforcement agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the District of Columbia and the White House's bowling alley.

The latest appropriations bill passed by the House will not be a popular one at the IRS. As initially written, the agency's fiscal 2015 budget, which begins Oct. 1, would have been $341 million less than the current spending level. But amendments to the measure would cut the IRS budget by $1 billion.

Passing on a vote of 228-195, the bill also included provisions to ban performance bonuses to senior IRS executives, and block the agency from further implementing the Affordable Care Act, which would affect the IRS's ability to charge penalties to people who refuse to purchase health insurance.

This appropriations bill, the seventh the House passed for 2015, included budgetary numbers for Wall Street enforcement agencies, a $637 million federal payment to the District of Columbia, which is $37 million less than it received in 2014, and $674 billion for the Executive Office of the President.

In another provision, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would start, in 2016, to be funded through the appropriations process instead of receiving its money through the Federal Reserve as it currently does.

The legislation set out a number of budgetary restrictions including barring the District of Columbia from using federal funds to enforce its handgun ban and other gun laws, and prohibiting the renovation of the White House's bowling alley.

None of the seven appropriations bills passed by the House have made it through the Senate, which has yet to pass any appropriations bills for fiscal 2015. As reported by Cristina Marcos of The Hill, a stopgap measure to keep the federal government running past Oct. 1 through the midterm elections appears likely.

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August 23, 2019, 1:30 pm PDT

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