WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sometimes it's the small stuff. As a government-wide spending bill nears the finish line in the Senate, chamber members are focusing on local concerns like keeping meat inspectors on the job, preventing furloughs at rural airports and re-opening the White House to tours.
The massive spending bill is required to avert a government showdown at the end of the month when funding for the day-to-day operations of every Cabinet department expires.
There had once been speculation that the measure could be a potential vehicle to turn off painful across-the-board spending cuts of 5 percent to domestic programs and 8 percent to the Pentagon but now much of the focus is on bread and butter issues as facilities back home begin to absorb the cuts.
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