BUDGET FLAT LINING

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FYI: The fiscal year began more than three months ago, so Congress has decided it might as well get around to passing 10 key spending bills that fund the federal government. When they reconvene today, legislators are expected to live within the White House mandate that total non-security domestic spending stay at the $316 billion mark set last year. When it finally deals with fiscal year 2004, Congress is expected to again stay within those bounds. Advocates are warning that housing programs are likely to be among those that bear the brunt of the spending freeze, noting rumors that the Senate HUD-Veteran’s Affairs spending bill is being reworked to cut $2.6 billion. [1/7/03]