Not Waiting Any Longer

Senate defense appropriators, who are supposed to wait for the authorizers to act before writing their “money bill,” finally gave up and approved a spending bill of $440 billion for 2006. They were holding off to see whether the Senate would get a move on. The appropriations bill, which includes $50 billion for Global War on Terrorism contingency operations, came in $7 billion under the President’s budget request. The measure goes before the full appropriations committee Wednesday and possibly to the Senate floor by Friday. Where would that leave the authorization bill? It would have to come later. It might not come at all. (Read the appropriations bill summary here.)