The House, moving to complete unfinished business so it can adjourn next week, yesterday adopted final versions of three of the 13 appropriations bills Congress must pass before quitting for the year.
In a little less than 4 1/2 hours, the House passed measures providing a total of $41.5 billion in funding for military construction projects, transportation and energy and water projects. The three appropriations conference reports now go to the Senate for final enactment.
Despite Congress' concentration on ways to reduce the federal budget deficit in the final weeks of this session, the three appropriations measures contained their share of special projects for individual members.
The $20.2 billion compromise measure appropriating funds for the Energy Department and federal water programs, for example, included an $89.8 million account for 10 university research centers, most of them located in the districts of lawmakers on the House and Senate appropriations committees. Some of the centers specialize in research not generally associated with either energy or water, such as Alzheimer's disease, nuclear medicine and heart disease.
Included in the $8.4 billion military construction measure was a provision barring the use of funds for construction of a controversial fighter base in Crotone, Italy.
The third measure approved yesterday, appropriating $12.9 billion for transportation, includes $64 million for the District Metrorail system, about $44 million less than was provided in the original House bill.