Bush, Democrats Likely To Spar Over Spending Bills
Democrats and President Bush over the next few weeks likely will face a "showdown" over the 12 fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills, which would increase funds for medical research, community health centers and other domestic programs, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports.
The bills include $22 billion more in spending for domestic programs than the $933 billion that Bush requested in February (Taylor, AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/13). Bush has threatened to veto eight of the bills.
Earlier this month, Democratic leaders said that they first plan to send Bush the $150 billion FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Bush has proposed to reduce funds for programs covered under the bill by $3.6 billion from FY 2007, and Democrats have proposed to increase the funds by $7 billion to $9 billion (California Healthline, 10/3).
According to AP/Newsday, although moderate Republicans support the bills, conservative Republicans, who oppose the bills, "see the upcoming battle ... as a way for the GOP to redeem its reputation as the party of smaller government and fiscal discipline" (AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/13).
Bush on Monday during a visit in Arkansas plans to criticize Democratic leaders for their failure to date to send him any of the bills. FY 2008 began on Oct. 1, and Cabinet departments and federal agencies since that time have operated on a continuing resolution (Feller, AP/Omaha World-Herald, 10/15).