Peter Suber reports that Sen. James Inhofe withdrew his amendments to the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill that would have deleted or weakened the NIH open access mandate, and that the bill has passed the Senate with the mandate intact.
The House and Senate bills will be reconciled in the fall, and President Bush should receive the final bill by year's end. It is anticipated that President Bush will veto the bill; however, the mandate's strong showing during Congressional deliberations should help ensure its future passage in post-veto legislation.
Here's an excerpt from "Defying President Bush, Senate Passes Spending Bill for Health and Education Programs" (subscription required for full access):
The president has threatened to veto the measure over what he has called "irresponsible and excessive" spending. It would take a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to override a veto. The Senate, which approved the bill 75 to 19, apparently could muster that margin, but the House might not. It passed its version of the bill in July by a vote of 276 to 140, 14 votes shy of the two-thirds mark.