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A look at the congressional budget agreement

December 11, 2013

The congressional budget agreement announced Tuesday, if approved by Congress, avoids a government shutdown in January and sets spending for defense and domestic programs. A look at the deal:

—Establishes overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion. The House budget level had been $967 billion and the Senate $1.058 trillion.

—Eases the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts by $63 billion over two years, split between defense and domestic programs. In the current fiscal year, defense would be set at a base budget of $520.5 billion and domestic programs at $491.8 billion.

—Working-age military retirees would see a change in their retirement benefits. The cost-of-living adjustment would be modified equal to inflation minus 1 percent. The changes would be phased in, with no change in the current year, a .25 percent reduction in December 2014 and a .5 percent decrease in December 2015. The change would not apply to retirees who left the service because of disability or injury. It would apply to retirees under the age of 62.

—Increases by 1.3 percentage points pension contributions paid by federal civilian workers hired after Jan. 1, 2014.

—Increases airline security fees from $5 to $10 for a typical round-trip ticket.

—Raises premiums paid by corporations to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. to guarantee pension benefits.

—Eliminates a requirement that the Maritime Administration reimburse other federal agencies for additional costs associated with shipping food aid on U.S. ships.

—Cancels unobligated balances in Justice and Treasury Department funds that seize assets from criminals.

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