What’s Hidden in the Senate Spending Bill?

What’s Hidden in the Senate Spending Bill?

Tucked into the Senate budget bill are a host of provisions that help a broad array of industries and sectors, including energy, health care and education, through increased spending and tax credits.

The Senate deal would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next by about $300 billion. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019 and provide nearly $90 billion in disaster relief to deal with last year’s fires and hurricanes.

It also includes a series of unexpected spending increases, including restoring some provisions that were jettisoned from last year’s $1.5 trillion tax package. And the bill includes an extension of 48 different tax credits that expired at the end of 2016, including several incentives meant to help particular sectors like mining and horse racing.

Here are some of the provisions included in the 600-plus-page bill, which heads for a vote later today:

A cost watchdog is repealed, among other Medicare adjustments.

The bill would kill an unpopular provision of the Affordable Care Act, its Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was devised to help keep Medicare spending growth from rising above a set level. No one has ever been appointed to the board, and its services have not yet been needed — Medicare spending has experienced unusually slow growth rates in recent years — but the board was long denounced by Republicans as a rationing board, and disliked by some Democrats for taking payment policy authority away from Congress.



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