House Republicans Reject Proposal for Omnibus Bill
House Republicans last week rejected a proposal from Democrats that would reduce the amount of spending that they have sought for the fiscal year 2008 budget, but "it's unclear how long GOP leaders will be able to keep getting their members to walk the plank against popular spending bills," Roll Call reports (Dennis, Roll Call, 11/19).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday announced a proposal to combine the 11 unapproved FY 2008 appropriations bills into a $484.2 billion omnibus package that would divide the $22 billion difference between the amount of spending sought by Democrats and requested by President Bush. The White House on Thursday indicated that Bush would veto the package (California Healthline, 11/16).
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) last week rejected the package and said Democrats must negotiate with Republicans, not only the White House. According to Roll Call, some "conservatives dream of forcing Democrats to adopt a yearlong continuing resolution that would freeze spending across the board," but some Senate Republicans "have been quietly urging the White House to come to the negotiating table" (Roll Call, 11/19).
Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday met to discuss the package. Committee ranking member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said that Republican committee members might support the package, adding that they first need to review the details of the proposal (Clarke, CQ Today, 11/16).