Senate Votes To Keep White House Closed, Slaughterhouses Open

 

 

 

 

” Senators voted Wednesday to make the first significant changes to the budget sequesters, shifting money to keep slaughterhouse inspectors on the job full time but refusing to rearrange money to reopen the White House for public tours.

The votes came as the Senate debated and passed a bill to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year — sending it back to the House for final expected approval later this week and averting a government shutdown.

Without that addition money, federal inspectors were going to have to be furloughed, and meat-packing plants can’t operate without inspectors on site. That would have made a serious dent in U.S. meat production.

Industry officials had predicted that the U.S. would produce 2 billion pounds less beef and pork and 3 billion pounds less poultry if the inspectors were furloughed.

Senators nibbled away what they considered the worst parts of the sequester, but they declined to undo President Obama’s decision to cancel White House tours — a move he made earlier this month as one of the casualties of the budget sequesters, setting off a chorus of complaints from Congress and the public.

Sen. Tom CoburnOklahoma Republican, offered an amendment to restore the White House tours, proposing to cut $8 million from spending on national heritage areas in the National Park Service budget.

Mr. Obama himself had proposed the heritage area cuts last year.”