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House, White House Agree On War Supplemental Spending Bill With Medicaid Provision

Armen Hareyan's picture

House leaders and the WhiteHouse on Wednesday reached an agreement on a $250 billion supplemental warappropriations bill with a provision that would place a one-year moratorium onsix new Medicaid regulations proposed by the Bush administration, CQToday reports. Democrats had hoped to include a provision in thelegislation that would delay all seven of the rules (Clarke/Higa, CQToday, 6/18). Democrats reduced the amount that President Bush requestedfor the Department of Defense by $3.5 billion to finance theirdomestic priorities, such as additional funds for FDA (Rogers,The Politico, 6/18).

The House likely will pass the bill on Thursday, with the Senate expected toconsider the legislation next week. According to the Washington Post, the House will vote on the bill intwo parts, a move that will allow lawmakers to vote on war spending anddomestic spending separately (Kane, WashingtonPost, 6/19).

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The legislation will"require significant Republican support to pass because fiscallyconservative Democrats in the Blue DogCoalition arelikely to object" to a provision in the bill that does not include pay/gorules, and "ardent opponents of the Iraq war are likely to object tofunding combat operations with no restrictions," The Hill reports (Soraghan, The Hill,6/18).

In addition, "Senate leaders were not directly involved in the talks"between House leaders and the White House, and the "tentative deal doesnot include some of the spending programs that senators had included in theirown version, leaving it in question whether the Senate would go along with theHouse agreement," according to the New YorkTimes (Huse,New York Times, 6/19). According to the Post,"[S]ome senators, particularly those on the [Senate] Appropriations Committee, are threatening to add spendingfor domestic causes," moves that "would require the House toreconsider the legislation," likely after the July 4 recess (WashingtonPost, 6/19).

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle "signaledBush would sign the measure," which he said would remain within thespending limits requested by the president, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (Taylor, AP/Minneapolis StarTribune, 6/19).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.