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Goodies in Bill that Opened Government

Benito Baeza

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here’s a secret about the bill Congress has approved ending the partial government shutdown and preventing a possible federal default: It’s got some goodies for states and federal agencies.

There’s more spending for upgrading a lock in the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky and money to help Colorado rebuild roads washed away by last month’s floods. There is extra money to help the Veterans Affairs Department whittle down a backlog of disability claims, and permission for the Pentagon to help African nations hunt a notorious warlord.

It has one lump of coal for lawmakers: For the sixth year, it would deny them the annual cost-of-living pay raise they automatically receive unless they vote to block it. Members of Congress earn $174,000 annually, and some leaders receive more.

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