Slaughter: Supplemental Not Likely to Move This Week

Posted June 10, 2008 at 2:37pm

House plans for taking up the war supplemental this week appear to be going out the window amid ongoing negotiations between both chambers and the White House.

“I don’t think it’s moving this week,” House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday.

House and Senate negotiators are “really stuck” on language relating to controversial Bush administration Medicaid rules that critics claim would shift costs to state governments. Lawmakers have pushed for adding a provision to the war bill to delay all seven Medicaid rules from being implemented.

There was “a little bit of talk” about taking out three of the rules as part of a compromise, but “many of us were insisting on keeping all seven,” Slaughter said.

Another sticking point continues to be how to pay for an expansive veterans’ benefits program and how to craft the 10-year, $52 billion provision with enough votes to pass in both chambers, the Rules chairwoman said.

Slaughter hinted that extended unemployment benefits may also be included in the supplemental, in addition to a separate, stand-alone bill that is expected to come up in the House this week.

A Democratic aide close to negotiations on the bill said the stand-alone unemployment bill likely will hit the Rules Committee tonight or Wednesday, while the supplemental is likely to come up next week.