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FY 2008 Spending Bills Would Increase Funds For Health Research

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Funds For Health Research

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Democratic leaders on Tuesday said that during the next seven weeksthey plan to send to President Bush fiscal year 2008 appropriationsbills that would increase funds for health research and other domesticprograms, rather than consider a request from Bush for $193 billion inemergency funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, CongressDaily reports (Cohn, CongressDaily, 10/3). Bush has threatened to veto eight of the 12 appropriations bills (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/1).

Accordingto Democratic leaders, they first plan to send Bush the $150 billionLabor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Bush has proposed to reducefunds for programs covered under the bill by $3.6 billion from FY 2007,and Democrats have proposed to increase the funds by $7 billion to $9billion. Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies SubcommitteeChair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said that staff aides have begun"pre-conferencing" the bill with the expectation of passage as early asthe week of Oct. 15. Harkin said that he would prefer to have anoverride vote after Bush vetoes the bill.

However, Democratsmight consider "introducing Bush's Labor-HHS proposals ... todemonstrate that Bush's budget could not pass the House or Senate," CongressDaily reports. According to CongressDaily,Republicans "blasted the emerging strategy, in which they saidDemocrats were delaying war funding and holding back a bipartisanveterans' health measure to secure leverage for their domesticpriorities" (Cohn, CongressDaily, 10/3).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.