“With troops in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said Congress should move to approve a spending bill for the Defense Department before members embark on their August recess.”
Bush is again using the troops as hostage, saying that congress needs to “stop dragging their feet” or they (congress) are going to start killing our troops.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has it exactly when he is saying that this is “simply the latest example of the president shamelessly hiding behind our brave troops in an effort to distract attention from his failed national security record.”
They seem to be saying “There’s plenty of time to pass this bill, Georgie”.
The reason why Bush wants them to get this legislation done before their August break (Hey why is our federal legislature going on a break . . . isn’t there a war on?) is that he is afraid that they (congress) will add too many riders, known as earmarks, to the bill.
Writes the Post:
“So far, Congress has passed none of the 12 spending bills that would fund the government in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Bush said Congress should send the measures to him one at a time to avoid what he called a massive omnibus bill that ‘no one can read and in which anyone can hide wasteful spending.’”
“Speaking before a meeting of conservative state legislators, Bush accused the Democratic-led Congress of wanting to ‘return to the tax-and-spend policies of the past.’ He also repeated his vow to veto any spending bills that would exceed spending limits laid out in his budget plan.”
But this is what is truly amazing about this story. Do you know how many earmarks are currently attached to this very defense spending bill? One thousand seven hundred and seventy-six. That’s right 1776.
Here is the spreadsheet.
So it’s kind of funny in a black sort of way. Congress has been “dragging its feet” over this spending bill because they were working furiously to pack it full of earmarks.
Biggest offender? Florida’s own C.W. “Bill” Young. At 59 earmarks, this Republican congressman leads the back in earmarks on the defense spending bill.
And no wonder. He is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Next highest offender? John Murtha, at 46.
Third highest offender? Jerry Lewis (R - CA). Dean Martin would be shocked, just shocked.
And with 30 earmarks, Jim Moran (D - VA). You remember him? In 2003 he was slapped down hard by both the White House and Nancy Pelosi for these words:
“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this.”
Bush has vowed to veto any spending bill that goes outside his spending guidelines. If so, then this bill, should it be passed, is DOA and Bush will be the one pointing his fingers at congress for the blame.
In my own humble opinion, this is Democrats in congress saying to Bush “You want a shooting war in Iraq? This is what it’s going to cost you”. And this is Republicans in congress doing business as usual.