Domestic Spending Plan Set for Approval in House Committee
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday is expected to approve subcommittee spending allocations for fiscal year 2008 that would increase domestic spending by more than 5% over FY 2007 levels, CongressDaily reports.
Under the House's FY 2008 spending allocations, discretionary health care programs, along with education and job training programs, would receive $151.1 billion -- a $10.2 billion increase over President Bush's request and a 4.6% increase over FY 2007 enacted levels. Overall, the $953 billion discretionary budget is 2.2% more than Bush's requested spending level and 9% more than the FY 2007 budget (Cohn, CongressDaily, 6/4).
According to the Wall Street Journal, homeland security and veterans' health care programs are "slated for big increases in 2008" (Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 6/5). Both Democratic and Republican congressional members are asking for more money in FY 2008 for the Department of Veterans Affairs, citing concerns that the department is not spending necessary amounts on mental health treatment, according to the Miami Herald (Adams, Miami Herald, 6/5).
Bush has threatened to veto any spending measure that exceeds his request, but the House committee's spending proposal -- which exceeds Bush's recommendations in eight out of 12 appropriation bills -- "shows that Democrats are not backing away from a confrontation," according to CQ Today. CQ Today reports that "many Republican appropriators appear ready to side with the president on vetoes."
A letter in support of vetoes written by the Republican Study Committee had acquired 138 signatures as of Monday. Bush needs 146 to uphold a veto in the House (Clarke, CQ Today, 6/4).