WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators reached accord on a trillion-dollar spending plan that will finance the government through September, reversing some cuts to military veterans’ pensions that were included in a broader budget agreement last month and defeating efforts to rein in President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The hefty bill, filed in the House on Monday night, neutralized almost all of the 134 policy provisions that House Republicans had hoped to include, with negotiators opting for cooperation over confrontation after the 16-day government shutdown in October.
Measures to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases and reverse clean water regulations did not survive the final negotiations.
Republicans also relented on their efforts to strip financing to carry out the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s nothing in the bill to block Obamacare,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Obamacare lives another day.”
The compromises may be difficult to accept for conservative Republicans, many of whom campaigned in 2010 vowing never to vote on a phone-book-size bill they have not had time to read. And because many of them will balk, the bill will have to have bipartisan support to pass.
Republican and Democratic leaders said they believed they would easily get majorities in the House and Senate, but not without loud protests from both the right and the left.
Last month’s agreement, which reopened the government after the shutdown, provided only enough money to keep all of the federal government operating until Wednesday, and negotiators do need a stopgap measure to tide them over for a few days. The House is expected to take up the full trillion-dollar spending plan Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, and the Senate is expected to pass it shortly after that.
“There will be no shutdown,” Mikulski said.
The spending bill’s costs were set in a budget agreement negotiated last month by Rep. Paul D. Ryan R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee.
But the final bill restores part of that accord’s most controversial spending cut — a 1-percentage-point reduction in cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of working-age military veterans. Under the spending bill, that cut will not apply to disabled veterans. Lawmakers in both parties have pledged to eliminate the reduction.
The final plan would raise spending on programs at Congress’ annual discretion by $25 billion over the limit originally set by the House, but it cuts spending by $25 billion from the limit approved by the Senate.