U.S. Senate Passes DOL's 2008 Appropriation Bill

On Oct. 23, the Senate passed its largest domestic spending bill, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008 (H.R. 3043), by a vote of 75-19. Its passage followed a failed attempt by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., by a vote of 40-54, to send it back to committee with instructions to pass a bill allowing no more than $140.9 billion in discretionary funds requested by President Bush.

The bill passed would provide $606 billion in fiscal 2008 for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education, and other agencies, and total discretionary spending would total $149.9 billion, $9.6 billion more than Bush proposed. OSHA would receive funds totaling $503,516,000 and MSHA would receive $313,478,000.

The House passed its version of the bill (HR 3043) on July 19 by a vote of 276-140. The Senate has called for a conference to resolve differences the two versions of the bill. The Senate's version (S 1710) would provide $1.9 billion less in discretionary spending.

The bill is one of the twelve annual spending bills that Congress did not pass by the beginning of the 2008 fiscal year on Oct. 1. President Bush has promised to veto the bill.

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