Factbox: Details of deal to keep government running

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Republican and Democratic leaders in the Congress have agreed to $28 billion in spending cuts for the rest of this fiscal year, on top of $10 billion already enacted.

Now, it’s up to the House of Representatives and Senate to pass the legislation carrying out the deal, which would fund the government through September 30.

If passed, the $38 billion in total cuts would represent the largest domestic spending reductions in U.S. history. But looking at it another way, the reductions would put just a small dent in a budget deficit for this year that is projected to hit $1.4 trillion.


A one-week funding measure enacted on Saturday cuts nearly $2 billion in spending from transportation and housing programs, including $1.5 billion from a high-speed rail program and $280 million from capital investment grants.

This temporary law was needed to give Congress time to write and pass the spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year. The two measures work in tandem to achieve the $28 billion in savings.

Other spending cuts, according to the White House:

— $13 billion from programs at the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services. The details have not been released;

— $3 billion from Defense Department programs identified as unnecessary;

— More than $1 billion across non-defense agencies. No details were available yet;

— $8 billion for State Department activities and other foreign programs;

— $35 million by ending a farmer crop insurance rebate;

— $30 million by terminating a job training program targeted at certain student loan processors;

— The bill subjects the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to yearly audits by both the private sector and the congressional Government Accountability Office.

The total cuts fall short of the $61 billion that Republicans passed through the House in February, but it is above the original proposal they advanced in January.

These spending reductions are focused on “discretionary” programs that Congress weighs each year. Discretionary programs represent about 14 percent of the entire, $3.7 trillion U.S. budget this year.

Most of the federal budget is beyond the reach of the annual budget process. The size of benefit programs such as Social Security is determined by how many people qualify for them, not by how much money Congress sets aside for them.


The package does not contain the most divisive policy “riders,” or restrictions, that Republicans wanted such as measures to ban funding for birth control and prohibit federal regulation of greenhouse-gas pollution blamed for global warming.

Democrats also blocked Republican attempts to deny all funds for enforcing Obama’s landmark healthcare reform law enacted in 2010. Instead, the Senate agreed to hold a vote on blocking implementation of the law, but that measure is expected to fail.

The bill did include one policy rider: school vouchers for the District of Columbia, a pet project of House Speaker John Boehner, according to congressional aides.

It also bans the use of local government money to pay for abortions for low-income women in Washington.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Kim Dixon, Andrea Shalal-Esa and Richard Cowan; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Factbox: Details of deal to keep government running