“Key House Republican appropriators appear to have conceded to a drastic funding increase for Congress’ largest domestic bill, setting up what is likely to be a major clash with House conservatives.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a top Democratic appropriator, said Wednesday that the House GOP subcommittee leaders of the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill have agreed to move ahead with fiscal 2019 levels already approved by the Senate. [ANCOR note: the Senate-approved level is roughly $2 billion more than what the House has approved. Now that the sub-committee has agreed to increase funding levels, the full committee will have to vote on the change and after that, the full House floor.]
House GOP leaders have, for years, failed to approve the massive Labor-HHS-Education funding bill on the floor in part due to right-wing opposition. Democrats in that chamber typically oppose the bill because it is a magnet for “poison pill” riders on issues like abortion and Obamacare.
This year, however, Capitol Hill leaders agreed to pair the domestic bill with the must-pass Pentagon funding bill in an attempt to get both signed into law before Sept. 30.
House GOP leaders have, so far, agreed to follow that strategy. But some conservatives in the House have already shown disdain for the idea of forcing GOP lawmakers to support a domestic funding bill — or risk being seen as shuttering the Pentagon.
House and Senate subcommittee leaders on the Labor-HHS-Education bill plan to meet later Wednesday to discuss some still-lingering policy issues with the bill.”
As additional backdrop to these negotiations, President Trump has in the past threatened to veto the combined domestic and defense bill for not having border wall provisions he seeks. Given the tight deadline for the government to be funded before September 30, this has led to speculation in Congress and the media about whether we will have a government shutdown. However, according to Politico Pro, Speaker Ryan is currently confident there will not be a shut down. This appears to be validated by the president softening his language on the funding bill last week. There is a bit less political pressure from the very conservative House Freedom Caucus for a shutdown as well due to internal dissent within the Caucus. ANCOR will continue to report on the funding bill as House-Senate negotiations progress.
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