Lobbyists Not Having Much Luck
Just before the month-long August recess, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry (D-NV) struck a deal to fund the government into 2013, avoiding a pre-election shutdown fight and (more importantly) avoiding a funding fight in a lame-duck session of Congress.
At the time, Heritage Action approached the deal cautiously:
A funding fight at that time [during a lame-duck session] would have added fuel to the fire during a session of Congress where lawmakers whom the American people voted out of office could push for tax increases, continued out-of-control spending, and a continuation of harmful policies that breed dependency on government.
We look forward to evaluating the legislation when text becomes available. And, of course, this is only a first step towards averting a lame-duck disaster.
Indeed, just a week later, CQ (sub. req’d) reported lawmakers were already looking at making exceptions (i.e., funding pet projects) to the funding bill:
Appropriators in Congress are beginning to make their case for including special exceptions in a six-month stopgap funding measure that leaders say they want to move as a “clean” bill without extra provisions.
The special items would be included in a separate bill if Congress clears a Defense appropriations measure after the election. Young and his Senate counterpart, Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, the chairman of both the full Appropriations Committee and its Defense panel, have often said they look forward to a conference in which they can hash out a final appropriations measure for the Pentagon.
Fortunately, it now appears will be “very few special provisions” in the funding bill. Again, CQ (sub. req’d) reports:
Republicans and Democrats have said they want a “clean” stopgap bill. Still, some lawmakers and lobbyists are lining up long-shot bids to add provisions affecting spending and policy.
“We’re trying but not having much luck,” said Robert Rapoza, president and principal at Rapoza Associates, who has worked for more than three decades as a lobbyist, with special expertise in federal housing and community development policy.
It is usually a good thing when lobbyists say they’re “not having much luck.” When text of the bill is released in September, Heritage Action will evaluate it to ensure the Washington Establishment did not try to sneak another one past the American people.