Submitted by Andy Guess on February 5, 2008 - 4:00am
President Bush's proposed budget for basic research and development in the 2009 fiscal year seeks a record $147 billion, a 3 percent increase over 2008 that would elevate the physical sciences and engineering, in particular, while keeping funding for the National Institutes of Health flat and scaling back or cutting other domestic programs, including for financial aid.
She appeared for the final time before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to defend President Bush's final education budget. And as farewell receptions go, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' wasn't particularly warm.
"I don't know what you guys are smoking over there," said Rep. Dennis Rehberg of Montana.
Despite a veto threat from President Bush and with the presumptive Republican candidate to replace him in absentia, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would dramatically enhance educational benefits for veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it did so, supporters of the measure were quick to note, by a margin (75-22) that could comfortably override the president's veto. The legislation will now go back to the House, which passed a parallel bill last month but failed to muster a similar veto-proof margin.
There's never enough money, it seems. Virtually every spring and summer, as Congress begins to allocate federal funds for the next fiscal year, lawmakers face some of their most vexing dilemmas in the bill that appropriates funds for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, which provides the bulk of federal domestic spending.