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The interesting things in short-term government spending bill

House Republicans late Tuesday released a short-term spending bill that would fund the government into next spring instead of for the rest of the fiscal year through September.

It maintains the same budget cap of $1.07 trillion from fiscal 2016, which ended this past September and it includes a $8 billion boost for the Pentagon’s overseas contingency fund that is used to finance the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“This legislation is just a band aid, but a critical one. It will give the next Congress the time to complete the annual Appropriations process, and in the meantime, take care of immediate national funding needs,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, said in a statement.

The legislation would prevent a shutdown on Saturday and fund the government through April 28, giving GOP leaders and the incoming Trump administration a few months to address government spending through the rest of the fiscal year.

The bill also would pave the way for a confirmation vote on president-elect Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary pick, retired Gen. James Mattis, who has not been out of active military duty more than the required seven years. It provides for the loosening of limits for retired military members to be confirmed by the Senate.

The measure includes $170 million to address drinking water safety in cities like Flint, Michigan that have dealt with contaminated drinking water. Democrats had been pushing for aid to Flint over the last year.

In response to flooding in places like Louisiana, the legislation also contains $4.1 billion in disaster relief funding to address damage caused by Hurricane Matthew as well as recent floods, droughts and other severe weather events.

To fund the House-passed 21st Century Cures Act, the bill would provide $872 million to boost medical research, drug approval and efforts to address drug abuse.

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations panel, blasted her GOP counterparts for including just $7 million to reimburse New York City for the costs spent to help protect the president-elect in Manhattan.

“I am extremely disappointed the majority included just $7 million – one-fifth of the amount requested by the Administration and by New York City – to reimburse for the cost of helping protect the President-elect through January 20th,” Lowey said. “New York taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for the federal responsibility of protecting the President-elect, and I will work to ensure a future funding bill makes New York City whole.”

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a letter to President Obama and Congress asking the federal government to reimburse the city $35 million that the NYPD has spent and will spend to protect Mr. Trump from Nov. 8 through the inauguration on Jan. 20.

A few of the other provisions include a ban preventing an increase in pay to lawmakers, one that would allow for funds for NASA’s Deep Space Exploration program to avoid further delays and one that allows for funding to be used for the procurement of Apache Attack Helicopters and Black Hawk Helicopters.

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