Seven other things the Senate compromise bill funds

October 16, 2013

The Senate prepared to vote Wednesday night on a compromise measure that would reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit through Feb. 7. But the 35 pages of legislative text manages to provide for a few other programs as well. Here are seven other things the compromise bill does (Follow along with the full text of the bill, here):

Emergency highway repairs in Colorado: The bill would lift a $100 million cap on emergency highway funds that Colorado is eligible to receive after floods hit towns in the Rocky Mountain foothills last month. Colorado will now be able to receive up to $450 million in Federal Highway Administration funding to repair more than 200 miles of highway and about 50 bridges damaged or destroyed by the flooding.

Fire suppression: After a worse-than-expected fire season throughout the Western United States, the Forest Service’s wildfire fighting budget has dwindled perilously close to zero, and the service has had to transfer money from other accounts to pay for firefighting activities. The bill allocates $36 million for wildland fire management during Fiscal Year 2014, and another $600 million that would go into a fire fighting account, to be available until it’s spent. The Forest Service spent more than $900 million fighting fires this year.

Locks and dams on the Lower Ohio River: Section 123 of the bill increases the amount of funding for two locks and dams on the river, which flows through Illinois and Kentucky. Congress originally appropriated $775 million for the project in 1986; the continuing resolution increases that amount to $2.9 billion.

Back pay for federally funded state workers: Tens of thousands of state employees around the country are paid through federal grants. Any states that used their own money to keep those employees on the job after the Oct. 1 shutdown, rather than sending them home on furlough, will be paid back under Section 116 of the bill.

Frank Lautenberg’s widow: Section 146 appropriates $174,000 — the equivalent of a year’s salary for a rank-and-file senator — to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of the late New Jersey Democrat who passed away earlier this year.

Mine Safety and Health Administration: The bill increases the cap on user fees the MSHA is allowed to collect, from just under $1.5 million to just under $2.5 million, according to Section 142.

Maritime Administration Security Program: First established in 1996, the program was given $174 million in Fiscal Year 2012. The continuing resolution increases that number to $186 million, under Section 153.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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