Congress still figuring out spending

Members of Congress gather in the Senate chamber

TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Today's the day President Bush is set to push Congress to start sending him spending bills for the 2008 fiscal year. Seeing as how the government's financial year begins next Monday, that would be a good idea.

So far, the House and Senate have yet to reach a consensus on any of the 12 appropriation bills that run the federal government. Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports from Washington it's likely to be a long week.


John Dimsdale: When they took over Congress in January, Democrats promised to do a better job of approving spending bills.

The House and Senate are close to agreement on four, maybe five of the bills. But the White House is threatening to veto every one of them as budget busters.

Stan Collender, who writes the Budget Battles column for National Journal, says he's looking for a game of chicken this week:

Stan Collender: The president threatening to veto every bill, or virtually every bill that came out of Congress on appropriations, meant that Congress had to revaluate the politics and think about how it wants to do it. And it looks like their decision is to hold everything til the very last minute, and send up a bunch and then dare him to veto those.

Congress is facing another deadline. The government's authority to borrow is running out, and the Senate must go through the embarrassing task of voting to give the Treasury permission to borrow another $850 billion, for a total federal debt of $9.8 trillion.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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