Ryan opens spending process to all Republicans

House Republicans next week will convene a series of "listening sessions" that will allow any GOP lawmaker to tell Republican leaders what they believe should be included in a massive year-end spending bill.

Beginning Tuesday, House Appropriations subcommittee chairs will convene in an office building near the Capitol for the sole purpose of hearing from lawmakers who traditionally have no say in spending legislation because they don't have a coveted seat on the Appropriations panel.

The listening sessions are part of a GOP management overhaul spearheaded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has promised to end the party's top-down governing style.

Republicans were invited on Thursday to attend, in an email that promised the sessions "will be an opportunity to learn more about the contents of each bill and allow members to offer updated perspectives or ask questions."

While Democrats are not invited to the listening sessions, a Republican aide said the committee is accepting spending requests from both parties and so far they are pouring in, numbering "in the thousands."

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