Obama seeking additional spending before November elections

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The Obama administration last week submitted to lawmakers a spending proposal that would cost, according to Republican estimations, between $20 billion and $30 billion.

The administration is asking Congress to add some of these spending initiatives to a bill that must be approved by October 1 to avoid a government shut-down.

The spending wish list, according to the Associated Press, includes:

  • $5.5 billion for the U.S. Postal Service's retirement fund
  • $3.4 billion to settle claims that the Interior Department mismanaged Indian trust funds
  • $1.2 billion to settle claims of discrimination by the Agriculture Department against black farmers
  • $800 million for child care grants to states and
  • $350 million to process a backlog of Social Security disability benefits

"The Obama administration, Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leaders are going to try and use this as a 'Hail Mary' pass for more government spending and policy items in a frantic last dash before the [November] election", Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) said in an AP report.

Democratic aides are saying that no final decisions have been made about what to include in the spending bill, which has yet to be unveiled to the public, according to a Reuters report.

"We are concerned that the administration is proposing that the (bill) be used as a catch-all to carry expensive and controversial legislation that has not otherwise been able to garner the approval of Congress", Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee stated in a letter.

Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) said he doesn't expect the White House to get much of what it's seeking.

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