The House started debate this morning on a $410 billion spending bill. A vote could come later today. Yes, this is $410 billion on top of the $787 billion stimulus package. This new bill is essentially the antidote to President Bush's lack of spending on domestic programs. For example, some of the items in the bill include:
A 21 percent hike in funding for a popular program that feeds infants and poor women. A 10 percent increase in Section 8 housing vouchers. $22 million for an addition to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, dozens of grants to states and counties to battle methamphetamine, and a new $250,000 siren for St. Paul, Minn., to warn residents of tornadoes and other emergencies.
Wait, there's more. The Agriculture Department gets a 13% increase. Amtrak gets 10% more. Congress is also including a 10% increase in its own budget.
I understand the Democrats are in power, and they like to spend on domestic programs. In their view, President Bush way overspent on war and defense and neglected the domestic side of things. It's no surprise the Dems are doing this, but the President's goal of cutting the deficit in half gets more pipe-dreamy when you see bills like this.