House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) outlined a busy week for the House on Wednesday, saying the chamber will take up a long-delayed war supplemental on Thursday and may get to controversial electronic surveillance legislation on Friday, "if it's ready to go."
Hoyer said he has been locked in a "three corner discussion" with the House and Senate leaders and the White House on the path forward for the bill to provide roughly $165 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, Hoyer said the House version of the supplemental will include an extension of unemployment benefits, an expansion of veteran's education benefits and a tax increase on wealthy couples to cover the $52 billion cost of the veterans benefits expansion.
However, the fate of all three of those initiatives in the Senate remains unclear. Hoyer acknowledged this, saying "it may be the case," when asked if the bill would continue to "ping-pong" between the two chambers.
"We are pretty close to a resolution," Hoyer said.
Democratic leaders have set a target deadline of July 4th to complete work on a bill that the president will sign.
Hoyer also said the bill would include funding to help victims of recent flooding in the Midwest.
On the controversial issue of an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Hoyer repeated his long-held claim that negotiators are "very close" to a deal. He said the newest compromise would “accommodate the protection of civil liberties” but did not offer any specifics.