Their strategy is to ram through what Republican aides are calling a “mini-bus” -- a precursor to a much larger omnibus spending bill that could come down the pike later this year encompassing the remaining appropriations bills. By taking that approach, Democrats could try to pick off some Republicans in hopes of avoiding a presidential veto.
But in the meantime, the fiscal clock is ticking. The 2008 fiscal year is nearly a month old and Congress has not yet sent a single spending bill to the White House -- the latest date in 20 years. The failure of Democrats in the House and Senate to work out their differences has given Bush an opening to lecture Congress as a father might scold a misbehaving child.
“This is not what congressional leaders promised when they took control of Congress earlier this year,” Bush said. “Only a few weeks left on the legislative calendar -- Congress needs to keep their promise, to stop wasting time, and get essential work done on behalf of the American people.”
In the next few weeks, there’s much left to do: the Internet tax moratorium expires on Thursday, Michael Mukasey’s nomination to be attorney general is still pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and lawmakers face a bruising political battle over Bush’s latest emergency war funding supplemental bill.
Given the state of affairs in Washington, don’t expect any to come easy or without a fight.