Congress likely to hold off on spending bills until end of Bush reign

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Rather than wage a budgetary battle with a departing president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday that the Democratically controlled Congress will likely wait "until Senator Obama becomes president" before passing any annual spending bills.

Many nursing homes nationwide rely on Congress' domestic spending bills for funding. Some members of the legislative branch believe the best way to get their agendas passed is to wait until President Bush vacates the capital. It would be more advantageous politically to hold off until Democrats possibly pick up a few more seats in the House and Senate and potentially re-take the White House, they believe. The Bush administration has set a spending limit that is $21 billion lower than what the Democrats have budgeted for the next year.

Though most of the 12 annual spending measures are not likely to receive consideration before 2009, Reid did allow for some "wiggle room" on defense and Pentagon spending, according to The Hill newspaper. Reid also said that it is likely Congress would remain in chambers for only another six weeks of this year, opting not to return after the election for a "lame-duck" session.