Blue Dogs Have War Plan

Posted June 4, 2008 at 5:03pm

Blue Dog Democrats are pitching a plan to House leaders for moving the delicately crafted war supplemental through the House for the second time. Their plan: Pass a bill that includes war funding and that offsets the $52 billion cost of expanded GI benefits, and leave it up to the Senate to take the tough vote on expanded education benefits for veterans. A House Democratic leadership aide said Wednesday evening that Democratic fiscal conservatives are proposing this option as one way to move the bill through the House with their support. The bill would then go back to the Senate, where lawmakers oppose including offsets for domestic spending in the bill but would then be in the uncomfortable position of voting down veterans benefits attached to them. For now, House Democratic leaders have not responded to the Blue Dog proposal, the aide said. In the meantime, it looks more likely that consideration of the bill will slip from Friday until next week, the aide added. Earlier today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Senate opposition may force House leaders to scrap plans to offset the costs of domestic spending in the bill, such as GI benefits and extended unemployment insurance. House Democrats have proposed raising taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for the veterans benefits.