Senate panel kicks off work on spending bills
Posted July 13
WASHINGTON — A key Senate panel has kicked off action on its long-delayed agenda of 12 annual spending bills with a bipartisan measure boosting spending on veterans programs by 5 percent.
The unanimous Senate Appropriations Committee vote on a popular $89 billion measure for the Department of Veterans Affairs and military base construction is a relative bright spot on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are battling over how much to beef up the Pentagon and whether to add to domestic programs.
Those differences are amply on display in the counterpart House Appropriations panel. It spent the day arguing over cuts to foreign aid and Pell Grants.
Another contentious issue: money to speed the seizure, through eminent domain, of private land in Texas to build President Donald Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.