House narrowly passes 1 1 trillion US spending bill

The House averted a government shutdown despite Democratic objections.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

The US House of Representatives averted a government shutdown yesterday (December 11th) by narrowly passing a $1.1 trillion (£700 billion) spending bill. It passed by 219 votes to 206 after President Barack Obama had urged Democrats to support the budget.

It will finance most of the government until September 2015, but some areas will only receive short-term funding. Because the Republicans strongly opposed President Obama's immigration reforms, the bill will only fund the Department of Homeland Security until February 2015.

The vote followed a long day of debate and featured an uneasy alliance between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, enemies in past budget battles but on the same side this time in pushing for passage, Reuters report.

The White House stated its own objections to the bank-related proposal and other portions of the bill in a written statement. In particular, it was concerned about a provision that would roll back one of the regulations imposed on the financial industry after the 2008 global economic crisis.

The banking language would ease rules enacted to protect taxpayers against bank losses and would let lenders keep swaps trading in units with federal backstops, Bloomberg reports.

“Citigroup is holding government funding hostage to ram through its government bailout provision. Join me in opposing the #CitigroupShutdown," Warren of Massachusetts said in a message posted on Twitter.

A provision in the big bill relating to financially failing multi-employer pension plans was also objected by Democrats, as it would allow cuts for current retirees.

The budget bill must now be passed by the Senate and sent to the president to sign into law.

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