House Expected To Approve Health, Veterans Budgets
The House on Tuesday likely will pass a $215.4 billion budget package that includes the fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education (HR 3043) and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (HR 2642) appropriations bills, CQ Today reports (Wayne, CQ Today, 11/5).
The House Rules Committee on Monday night voted 9-3 to approve the package, which includes $150.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Labor-HHS-Education bill and $64.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Military Construction-VA bill (Clarke, CQ Today, 11/5).
Republican House conferees refused to sign the conference report for the package because of objections to the combination of the bills (Wayne, CQ Today, 11/5).
Later this week, the Senate likely will pass the package and send the legislation to President Bush for consideration (Clarke/Rogin, CQ Today, 11/5). Bush has threatened to veto the package (HR 3222) in the package but decided to remove the legislation in an effort to obtain more Republican support (California Healthline, 11/2).
In other budget news, House and Senate leaders have begun to prepare a second continuing resolution that would fund Cabinet departments and federal agencies at current levels until Dec. 14, CongressDaily reports. According to individuals familiar with the situation, federal agencies have received instructions to plan to operate on CRs through Feb. 15 (Cohn, CongressDaily, 11/6).
Democrats to date have not sent Bush any of the 12 FY 2008 appropriations bills, at least 10 of which he has threatened to veto. The fiscal year began on Oct. 1, and Cabinet departments and federal agencies since that time have operated on a CR scheduled to expire on Nov. 16 (California Healthline, 10/24).