Flake pressures GOP leaders on omnibus spending bill

Fiscal conservative Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a 2012 Senate candidate, is leading an effort to pressure House Republican leaders to allow amendments on the year-end spending bill anticipated this fall.

With the temporary fiscal 2012 spending bill set to run out Nov. 18, Congress is expected to collapse the 12 annual appropriations bill for 2012 into either one omnibus or a series of combination packages.

Flake is circulating a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) demanding that funding bills be opened up to amendment on the floor.

In the interest of speeding up the process, and avoiding GOP divisions on overall spending levels, leadership may try to limit floor amendments. Flake and dozens of other fiscal conservatives have already demanded that the $1.43 trillion top line spending level, agreed to in the August debt ceiling deal, be revisited

"We write to strongly urge that any legislation making appropriations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2012 be brought to the floor under a process allowing for amendments under an open rule," a copy of the draft letter states. "Given the likely truncated process forthcoming and the persistent attention on getting our fiscal house in order, shutting down an open floor process would clearly send taxpayers the wrong message."