Dec 14, 2007

Lawmakers Edging Toward Final Deal on Year-End Appropriations Plan

By David Clarke and Liriel Higa, CQ Staff

Lawmakers expressed some optimism Thursday that a year-end spending package being drafted could end this year’s impasse over government spending.

Several issues still must be resolved, aides and lawmakers said, meaning a final deal is far from certain. Yet House leaders said they hoped to hold a vote on the omnibus package as early as Dec. 17. Final details could be released Dec. 16.

“I’m now slightly more optimistic than I was initially, and I think that while none of us may be particularly enamored of the final result, that we are getting closer to having a result which can be supported by many people on both sides of the aisle — at least in the House,” said House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey , D-Wis.

Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., tried to tamp down expectations that a deal is imminent. “I have no agreement at this stage with the people in the House, the Republicans in the Senate, the White House,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Congress cleared a stopgap spending measure (H J Res 69) Thursday that will fund the government through Dec. 21, primarily at fiscal 2007 levels. The current continuing resolution (PL 110-116) runs through Friday.

[Read the full story here.]


Anonymous said...

CR #3.

Way to do your job, Congress!

Anonymous said...

ditto mr. president!

Anonymous said...

Congress Buys Time on Spending Bill

Trying to avoid another veto confrontation, Democrats have begun revising a $522 billion omnibus spending bill to cut another $6.9 billion from appropriations previously approved by the House. If that task can be completed by Sunday, the House will take up the package early next week, setting the stage for a delicate Senate debate, when some new money for the war in Iraq will almost certainly be added.

The new round of cuts will spare a proposed 14% increase in veterans' medical care for the new fiscal year that began Oct. 1. But labor, health and education accounts, most sensitive for many Democrats, would be effectively frozen at 2007 levels, albeit still nearly $4 billion above Mr. Bush's request for 2008.

Energy and water programs will be pared back by another $493 million; homeland security, by about $557 million.