Thursday, April 27, 2006

Who'll Blink?

As I noted yesterday, President Bush threatened to veto the "emergency" spending bill now under consideration in the Senate if it exceeded $92.2 billion. As expected, that threat meant, well, nothing, in the Senate (and why should it?). Yesterday the Senate voted 49-48 to table (i.e. kill) an amendment offered by Tom Coburn to cut out the $700 "railroad to nowhere" provision. They also voted 72-26 to table another amendment by Senator Thomas that would have restored the bill's cost to that proposed by the president and passed by the House. Aaand then they voted 84-13 to add another $430 million onto the bill (granted it's for "outpatient care and treatment for veterans") which is hard to argue with ... but still.

Fiscal discipline? Not from this Congress. And not from this president, who will probably cave (even though he received a letter yesterday from 35 Republicans, enough to sustain a veto, who said they would back him if he used the pen on this one).

Of course this could all be a designed plan to allow Bush his first veto without it being on something like, oh, stem cells for example. We'll see how the rhetoric plays out over the next couple of days. But if I had to guess now, I'd wager it'll be the president who blinks first.


At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... Jeremy, oye!

Steve Abott


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