May 21, 2008
While non-binding, the FY09 Budget Resolution spending targets can provide a marker as the Appropriations Committees begin to determine the binding 302(b) allocations. Overall, the Conferees approved $1.011 trillion in total FY09 discretionary spending, representing a $20 billion increase over the Administration’s request of $991.6 billion.
The Senate began debate on its version of the FY08 and FY09 war supplemental. Like the House, the Senate bill includes $9.9 billion in funding for the International Affairs Budget. The Senate bill is more than $10 billion above the Administration’s request level and the level approved by the House. Although the strategy for passage of the Supplemental bill in the Senate remains in flux, it is clear from the debate that the $9.9 billion International Affairs portion of the bill is not controversial. The main drivers of the debate include domestic spending increases in G.I. education benefits, unemployment compensation and several other provisions adopted during committee mark-up. Also at issue is the $168.9 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as war policy provisions.