These "policy riders" restrict spending on certain social and regulatory initiatives, including implementation of the health law and funding for Planned Parenthood. These contentious issues are becoming as difficult to resolve as reaching agreement on a final figure for spending cuts.
The Washington Post: House Republican Leaders Turn to Moderate Democrats For Budget Deal
The basic outline would involve more than $30 billion in cuts for the 2011 spending package, well short of the $61 billion initially demanded by freshman Republicans and other conservatives, according to senior aides in both parties. Such a deal probably would be acceptable to Senate leaders and President Obama as long as the House didn't impose funding restrictions on certain social and regulatory programs supported by Democrats, Senate and administration aides said (Kane, 3/29).
The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Agree To Take New Look At GOP Proposals
The proposals, known as riders, would use the budget process to undercut policies backed by Democrats, for instance by eliminating money to implement the new health care law, regulate greenhouse gases or help fund Planned Parenthood (Hook and Lee, 3/20).
The New York Times: Budget Fight Faces Hurdle Beyond Price Tag
The most visible element of the budget fight in Congress is the one over the scale of spending cuts this year. But increasingly, other deeply contentious policy issues that House Republicans insist must be addressed in any budget deal are as much of a stumbling block as the final dollar figure. They include efforts to take away money to carry out the new health care law, to limit regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency and to cut federal financing for organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortions (Steinhauer, 3/29).
Los Angeles Times: Boehner's Decision: Compromise Or Force A Shutdown
If he puts the priority on GOP unity, he could force a shutdown that many strategists believe could be costly to his party. But if he goes for a deal with Democrats, the decision has the potential to splinter the new Republican majority in the House. Either way, the choice could define his leadership (Mascaro, 3/29).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.