Appropriations Strategy to Thwart HUD Veto Threat

The following update on the budget situation is Washington is from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Capitol Hill
Memo to Members: Vol 12, No. 42, October 26, 2007

Although October 1 marked the start of FY08, Congress has not yet sent any appropriations bills to the president, who has threatened to veto domestic spending bills that exceed his budget request. The president has threatened to veto the Transportation, HUD and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill, H.R. 3074 (see Memo, 7/27), among others. The combined bills that President Bush says he will veto exceed his total budget request of $933 billion by $23 billion.

Congressional leaders are expected to start sending FY08 appropriations bills to the president by Veterans Day on November 12. The first two spending bills – the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill, and the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies bill – are expected to be sent as one package. Packaging the two bills together is expected to make it harder for the president to veto. The president has said he would veto the Labor, HHS, and Education bill because it exceeds his spending request by $11 billion. The Veterans Affairs bill also exceeds the president’s request by about $4 billion, but he has not threatened to veto that bill.

The THUD bill is one of two spending bills expected to be acted upon soon after Veterans Day.

Federal programs are currently operating under a continuing resolution, H.J.Res. 52, which was signed into law on September 29 (see Memo, 9/28). The measure keeps federal programs running at FY07 spending levels through November 16. At least one more continuing resolution is expected.

In addition, House leadership has announced that the House will remain in session for the first two weeks of December.