Iraq Bill Taking Shape
A senior House Democratic aide confirmed Wednesday that the “most likely” domestic spending add-ons in the Iraq supplemental bill will be 13 extra weeks of unemployment benefits, expanded college tuition assistance for veterans and a renewable energy tax package. The aide said there are still “no decisions made” on whether Democrats plan to use the never-enacted fiscal 2008 military construction appropriations bill as a vehicle for advancing the supplemental, something that has been rumored to be in the works. Strategically, it would make sense for Democratic leaders to lean on the unused measure if they aim to stymie GOP procedural mischief; they would simply need to pick the old bill back up, gut it and replace its language with that of the supplemental. The result is that they could send the supplemental directly to the floor without going to committee while also preventing Republicans from making their typical “motion to recommit” tactical maneuver.