Bush Signs Giant Spending Bill

congressional spending bill graphic
AP
President Bush on Wednesday signed into law a $388 billion legislative package that covers the spending of every federal agency but the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security.

Congress sent the measure, which covers the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, to the president on Tuesday. A temporary spending measure was to expire at midnight.

Congress passed the package Nov. 20. Lawmakers delayed sending it to the White House until they overturned language that would have made it easier for some members of Congress and their aides to enter Internal Revenue Service offices and see income tax returns.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president was not troubled by the billions of dollars in special-interest measures added onto the bill by lawmakers.

"The fact that members of Congress worked together with us to meet our highest priorities and show spending restraint elsewhere in the budget is an important step in the president's hopes of reducing the deficit," McClellan said.

Here are the highlights of the bill. The figures do not include effects of an across-the-board cut of at least 0.8 percent imposed on programs throughout the bill, part of a last-minute deal to pay for some of the measure's increases.

  • Education: $59.7 billion, $1.4 billion over last year and $300 million below President Bush's request. Aid to low-income school districts $12.8 billion, $500 million below Bush but $500 million more than last year. Grants for improving teacher quality $1.5 billion, 0.7 percent over last year. Aid for disabled students $11.8 billion, 5.4 percent over last year.
  • Transportation: Overall $59 billion, $1.1 billion over last year and $1 billion more than Bush requested. Highway construction gets $34.7 billion, $1 billion over last year and over Bush's proposal. Federal Aviation Administration gets $10.4 billion, $100 million over last year. Amtrak gets $1.2 billion, the same as last year.
  • Foreign aid: $19.5 billion, $2 billion over last year and $1.8 billion below Bush's request. Total $2.9 billion for fighting AIDS in poor countries, $100 million more than Bush wanted. Child survival and health nearly $1.6 billion, $274 million below last year. Military aid $4.8 billion, $221 million over last year.
  • State Department: $8.3 billion, a $554 million cut from 2004. Embassy security would grow by 17 percent to $612 million.
  • Land and cultural programs: The Interior Department will get $9.9 billion, nearly $100 million less than Bush wanted and 0.4 percent more than 2004. National parks operating money goes up 6 percent, but money for buying park lands remains nearly two-thirds below the peak of three years ago. The Indian Health Service grows by $100 million to $3 billion. The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities both got more than 10 percent less than Bush wanted.
  • Labor Department: Gets $15.4 billion, 0.7 percent over last year. Job training for workers who lose jobs to foreign competition get nearly $1.5 billion, 1.7 percent over last year. Job Corps gets $1.6 billion, 1.2 percent over last year. Occupational Safety and Health Administration gets $468 million, 2.4 percent over last year.
  • Health and social programs: Maternal and child health gets $896 million, 0.7 percent over last year. AIDS programs get almost $2.1 billion, 1.2 percent over last year. National Institutes of Health get $28.5 billion, 3.1 percent over last year, one of its smallest increases in years. Energy assistance for low income families $2.2 billion, 4 percent over last year.
  • Veterans: Veterans' health care programs will get $30.3 billion, $1.9 billion over last year and $1.2 billion more than Bush wanted. The bill ignores Bush's requests to increase some fees veterans pay for benefits. Construction for veterans' hospitals and other facilities will grow to $459 million, the same as Bush's request and $188 million more than last year.
  • Housing, urban affairs: $37.3 billion, 1.6 percent below last year and 1.4 percent over Bush's request. Vouchers to help low-income people pay rent will get $14.9 billion, $700 million over last year. Housing assistance for AIDS patients down $11 million to $284 million. Community development grants $4.7 billion, down $212 million from last year.
  • Agriculture, food: Animal and plant inspections $820 million, up $98 million from 2004. Food safety and inspections $824 million, $44 million more than last year. Agriculture conservation $1 billion, down $27 million from 2004. Overseas food aid $1.5 billion, $30 million over 2004. Food and Drug Administration $1.5 billion, $76 million over 2004.
  • Commerce Department: $6.6 billion, 10 percent over last year. Most of the increase is for the Census Bureau as it prepares for the 2010 census, and for oceanic and atmospheric programs.
  • Justice Department: $20.9 billion, $1 billion over last year. FBI gets $5.2 billion, almost a 14 percent increase over last year. Aid to state and local law enforcement agencies is $1.3 billion, $90 million below last year.
  • Environmental Protection Agency: $8.1 billion, 3.3 percent below last year but 3.8 percent over Bush. Clean water fund for states $1.1 billion, or $250 million below last year. Superfund hazardous waste cleanups get $1.2 billion, or 0.7 percent over last year.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: $16.2 billion, or 5.3 percent over last year. NASA is given flexibility over how to allocate money among the space station, space shuttle and Bush's goal of exploring the moon and Mars.
  • National Science Foundation: $5.5 billion, 1 percent below last year. Research receives nearly $4.3 billion, about the same as last year.
  • Energy, water projects: $4.7 billion for dredging, other water projects, $124 million over last year and nearly $600 million more than Bush wanted. $577 million to continue preparing nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nev., the same as 2004.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: $578 million, $3 million less than last year and $64 million below Bush. Will support 70,000 Americorps volunteers, 5,000 fewer than last year.
  • Internal Revenue Service: $10.3 billion, $134 million over last year and $356 million below Bush's request.
  • Postal Service: Bill includes $507 million for equipment to detect biohazards and to build a postal facility in Washington, D.C., to irradiate mail to destroy possible biological contamination.
  • Congress: $3.6 billion, $43 million over last year. Capitol Police get $232 million, $13 million over last year. No funds provided for continuing construction of Capitol Visitors' Center, which is running well over budget and has money left over from previous years.
  • The White House and White House agencies: $770 million, $4 million less than Bush wanted and $12 million below last year.