Democrats Court Republicans To Override Veto of Spending Bill
Democrats this week will seek to "sell a handful of moderate House Republicans" on the fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education (HR 3043) appropriations bill to obtain an adequate number of votes to override a likely presidential veto of the legislation, CongressDaily reports (Cohn/Swindell, CongressDaily, 11/13).
The House on Thursday voted 274-141 to pass the bill, which includes $150.7 billion in discretionary spending. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because the legislation exceeds his request for discretionary spending by $9.8 billion (California Healthline, 11/9).
According to Democrats, "by adding up the total number of House Republicans who have voted for the bill on at least one of the three occasions it has come to the floor, they could easily obtain a veto override," CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 11/13). In the event that the effort to override the veto fails, Democrats likely would have to remove spending for health care and other programs from the bill, House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-Wis.) said (Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, 11/13).
Meanwhile, Democrats might wait until December to send the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (HR 2642) appropriations bill to Bush (CongressDaily, 11/13). The legislation includes $64.7 billion in discretionary spending. Bush has said that he would sign the bill, although the legislation exceeds his request for discretionary spending by $3.4 billion (California Healthline, 11/12).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday in a letter asked Bush to show "some willingness to find common ground" on the appropriations bills, but the White House rejected the request and demanded that Democrats send Bush the bills "one at a time ... and within the reasonable spending limits recommended by the president" (Kaplan, The Hill, 11/13).