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December 07, 2007

War Funding Showdown Nearing End?

It looks like Democrats are abandoning Harry Reid's "take it or leave it" strategy with regards to war funding. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has already admitted that he expects to be voting on funding without any retreat provisions. The deal that is being worked out is a mega-sized omnibus bill to be passed before Christmas.

Hoyer acknowledged Democrats are considering a legislative two-step in which the House would initially pass the catch-all spending bill next week without Iraq funding attached. But the Senate would add the money — as the only way to avoid a GOP filibuster — and House Democrats would reluctantly accept it.

Such a solution would prevent weeks of Democrat-bashing by Bush for failing to provide additional money for U.S. troops in harm's way in Iraq.

The $500+ billion bill would let Democrats (and some fat-cat Republicans) slip through billions of dollars in excess of President Bush's budget targets in exchange for the war funding. That's the compromise. According to outgoing Senator Trent Lott, "The president isn't going to go along with an excessive spending package. He understands that some additional spending could possibly be agreed to."

Republicans remain poised to filibuster if they don't get the war funding. Meanwhile, the Marine Corp is solidifying plans for civilian furloughs in March if the funding doesn't come through. Letters will go out notifying civilian employees of the layoffs by Christmas because federal law requires 60 days notice to the employees and 90 days notice to the unions.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:16 AM

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