By VIVIAN GRANT
WASHINGTON DC — We are unpacked, hooked up and ready for action in Washington. Thank you for bearing with the abbreviated ‘Tuesday’s Horse’ during this hectic time.
We have conducted strategy sessions with our lobbyists and networked with our contacts, and are on the verge of an important breakthrough. Get your dialing fingers ready! Until then ….
Shopping for Votes instead of Christmas
It hardly seems like the festive season in the corridors of power in Washington D.C.
It is the usual end of year scramble to get bills passed. There are plenty of lobbyists – making their lists and checking them twice – whirling around the Congressional office buildings. It is enough to make you wish there was a Santa Claus. There are an inordinate number bills with holds on them, important bills. A lot of time and effort is being spent making deals to release them, and if that fails, clotures filed. Once done, there is the unenviable task of getting the bill onto the floor for a vote.
Legislators and lobbyists are wringing their hands with glee no doubt at the prospect of an omnibus budget bill where almost all of the government’s spending will be combined put into one piece of legislation. Thousands of pages long, there will be ample opportunity for ever present “pork” spending – as President Bush cautioned today in his White House briefing. The President also said if he didn’t see what he liked, he would not sign it. The government’s budget bill deadline is February 1.
It also means there will be ample opportunity for a midnight maneuver like Burns Amendment that took away the protection from slaughter for our wild horses and burros, so we must be ever vigilant.
Legislators are expected to be on the Hill working right up until Christmas and possibly returning right after. However, Congress plans to bang the gavel for the Christmas holidays as originally scheduled.
We are one step ahead with the slaughter bill in the Senate. S. 311 is already on the agenda. IFH is working to get S. 311 its promised vote before Christmas.