With the current Continuing Resolution (PL 110-116) funding government operations set to expire 14 December and the holiday recess looming, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are scrambling to pass the 11 spending bills that remain for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008. The only spending measure to become law thus far has been the FY 2008 Appropriations for the Department of Defense (H.R. 3222) that was signed by the President on 13 November.
Today (10 December 2007) House leaders intend to introduce an omnibus spending bill that wraps all 11 remaining FY 2008 appropriations bills into one piece of legislation. The proposed bill would essentially split the difference between the Democrats’ total proposed spending and the President’s request, cutting overall discretionary spending by $10.6 billion. Initially, the Democratic budget would have spent $21.2 billion more than the President’s $932.8 billion request. The omnibus measure is expected to pass the House on Tuesday (11 December 2007) and then head to the Senate, where the timing for a vote remains unclear.
Before congressional leaders introduced the omnibus bill, the White House Office of Management and Budget Director, Jim Nussle, issued a statement threatening a presidential veto. With respect to the omnibus, Nussle said, “This is not fiscally responsible. Our economic growth and job creation cannot be taken for granted, and Congress should not burden taxpayers with billions of dollars in additional wasteful spending.”
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