WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is kicking off what is expected to be a summerlong debate over government spending. First up is a homeland security bill that adds almost $2 billion to disaster aid accounts.
The $42.3 billion homeland security measure is one of 12 annual spending bills that provide money to federal agencies. It's being followed Thursday by a measure that increases funding for veterans programs.
Far more stringent bills cutting health research, student aid, food aid for low-income pregnant women, and energy efficiency programs are to come next.
Congressional fights over the day-to-day budgets of domestic agencies will run parallel to efforts to negotiate spending cuts as part of any effort to increase the $14.3 trillion limit on the government's ability to borrow, the so-called debt ceiling.