House Democrats have elected to manipulate funding levels for various government programs to reflect their policy priorities. The House Appropriations subcommittee chairmen have been given substantial leeway to decide which programs will be cut and boosted in the process.This is why Pelosi is one of the worst Speaker of the House in recent history. She doesn't get it that she has to compromise to get what she wants. She has to work with the Republicans or it won't pass in the Senate. She better hope that she doesn't lose seats in the House in 2008 or she will really learn what it means to compromise (if the Democrats vote her in as Speaker of the House again, I would be surprised).
The Senate is expected to adopt a straight across-the-board cut without discriminating among Democratic and Republican favorites, said several Democrats briefed on leadership negotiations.
As a result, even after House and Senate appropriators shave the omnibus to Bush’s number, they will still have to wrestle over differences in each chamber’s version.
Another significant difficulty emerging for Democrats is a disagreement over war funding. Pelosi made clear that a House-passed omnibus would not include any more funding for the war in Iraq, although it may include funds for military operations in Afghanistan.One senior House appropriator said that plan means it will be left to the Senate to decide how to package war funds in the omnibus. As lawmakers scramble to recess before Christmas, there will be pressure to add war funds without restrictions on Bush’s ability to conduct the war. The president has vowed to veto any effort to withdraw troops from Iraq or impose other constraints.
And then there's this:
Democrats made a final attempt to drive a wedge between congressional Republicans and Bush by threatening to kill all lawmakers’ earmarks to bring the cost of the omnibus to the level Bush demanded. Obey hoped rank-and-file Republicans would pressure their leaders to accept a Democratic-proposed compromise that exceeded the White House budget by $11 billion, said a Democratic aide.She can't even keep her own people in line! And I thought they were going to get rid of earmarks. These people just keep writing the ads for the 2008 election.
But that plan fizzled in the face of stiff Democratic opposition.