Dems say GOP is hiding controversial labor, health bill


A crowded subcommittee markup last week was not televised or webcast and now Democrats say the GOP has indefinitely postponed a more public full committee markup.

Typically, full committee markups have quickly followed subcommittee action in the House this year. House Appropriators have finished all 11 other bills, and approved seven on the floor. The full Democratic Senate is refusing to act on any annual bills.

“The subcommittee’s consideration of the bill last week was extremely limited to the public and clearly insufficient for such important legislation,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said in a statement. “It is shameful that my Republican colleagues are trying to hide their plans to decimate programs that aide children, sick Americans, the unemployed and seniors.”

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said: “just one week after proposing this irresponsible legislation it appears that the Full Committee Markup has been indefinitely postponed. Members will not have the opportunity to offer amendments to repair any of the egregious cuts or remove the litany of riders in the bill.”

A GOP aide disputed the Democratic characterization of the process and said that nothing is being hidden.

“The mark up was never scheduled for this week, and no one ever ‘assured’ DeLauro or Dicks of anything regarding the schedule. We have yet to schedule the next mark-up, period,” the aide said. “The notion that anyone is trying to ‘hide’ anything is absurd.”

“It has always been the Chairman’s goal to consider each bill individually and under regular order,” the aide said of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

Rogers has called the bill "tough" and it is generally considered the most hotly political of the bills. Last year, it did not make it to subcommittee in the House.

As written the bill contains numerous policy riders on hot issues such as abortion and unionization. It defunds President Obama's signature healthcare reforms and Race to the Top education initiative.