Among the spending cuts made were several of President Bush's initiatives. These included funding to AmeriCorp, and a rejection of his plans to build up the United States nuclear weapons stores. The bill funded a dozen agencies including the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Treasury, State and Justice. However its most major change was to raise the debt limit of the Federal Government. The bill was passed by the House in an emergency session on Saturday November 20, even though the members were not aware of the specific wording of the bill.
By Monday November 21, the bill reached the Senate where it was revealed by Democratic Senator Kent Conrad that among the many over-looked provisions, the bill gave two committee chairmen, the chairmen of the House or Senate Committee on Appropriations, the ability to access anyone's tax returns. In response, Rep. Ernest Istook of Oklahoma, who was in charge of this section of the bill, said the provision was intended to "include visiting and inspecting the huge IRS processing centers but not inspecting tax returns." He also stated adamantly that there is no conspiracy. Opponents claimed this was evidence of a real problem in the legislative system and it must be required that bills must be reviewed in their entirety before they are passed. The Senate refused to send the bill to the president until the tax provision was changed or removed. It was decided that an already existing provision would fund the country until a minimalistic session was held on December 6 when the house would vote to remove the language. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said "accountability will be carried out" for whoever put the provision in.
Also, buried within the bill was a provision that stated doctors, hospitals, and clinics no longer have to offer abortion as an alternative to birth control undermining the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
By the middle of the following week, November 24, more and more of the actual text of the bill was known. It included such provisions as $335,000 to protect North Dakota sunflowers from blackbirds, $2.3 million for an animal waste management research lab in Bowling Green, Kentucky, $50,000 to control wild hogs in Missouri, and $443,000 to develop salmon-fortified baby food, $131 million for abstinence programs in public schools, and most notably $350,000 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to develop music education programs.
Sen. Richard Shelby a Republican from Alabama and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, managed to win several dozen special items for his state, more than anyone else. However many members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, stepped forward to defend special projects for their states that make up the bulk of the bill. Part of President Bush's platform for re-election was to cut so called "congressional pet projects" and spend the government's money on things that would help the country as a whole. President Bush signed the bill into law on December 6. Public Law No. 108-447
Land and cultural programs:
Health and social programs:
Housing, urban affairs:
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