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In US Congress poised to consider major spending, tax bills

Some hardline conservative Republicans are expected to balk at the funding bill.

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United States Capitol play

United States Capitol

(wikimedia)

The U.S. Congress is poised to debate this week a $1.15-trillion government spending bill and a $650-billion package of tax breaks that negotiators tentatively embraced late on Tuesday, which also includes repealing a 40-year-old ban on oil exports.

If approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Senate, with voting as early as Thursday, federal agencies also would receive beefed up funding through September, 2016, for military and domestic programs.

Some hardline conservative Republicans are expected to balk at the funding bill.

Representative Tim Huelskamp, a frequent critic of past Republican fiscal measures, noted that the latest one fails to stop funding for women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood - a target of anti-abortion forces - and does nothing to stop President Barack Obama's program to bring thousands of Syrian refugees to the United States.

"As I see it (the bill) now...no, I'm not planning on supporting it," Huelskamp told reporters late on Tuesday.

A senior Senate Democratic aide told Reuters the legislative language was being reviewed to make sure it "reflects the negotiations."

Representative Ann Wagner confirmed that in return for a repeal of the oil export ban, Democrats won temporary tax breaks to boost wind and solar development, an important priority for Obama in the aftermath of a Paris climate change deal that calls for significant global reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

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