Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bush Vetoes Bipartisan Health, Education and Labor Bill

Simply amazing. George Bush does not know how low he can go. Each passing week brings more and more jaw-dropping vetoes from this lame duck president.

It’s just that he, in his own words, doesn’t want to become irrelevant.

It was HR 3043, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008. An appropriations bill that would have allocated $606 billion to an amazing array of good domestic projects. For an abbreviated list, take a look here where they have posted Nancy Pelosi’s statement on Bush’s veto.

But Bush said that it was too much money and that this congress, supposed to be fiscally conservative, was “spending money like a teenager with a new credit card”. He said it was full of pork barrel projects. Maybe, but not likely. And not at all like Bush’s favorite pork barrel project, no way nearly as costly as the War in Iraq that has made Bush’s cronies as rich as Croesus in war profiteering.

A completely disingenuous political move. Bush complained that this bill, to fund so many worthy domestic projects, put him $22 billion over his budget, got his veto stamp out, used it, then used a pen to sign a $471 billion Defense Dept. appropriations bill. This is the bill that buys the pencils, paper clips, and toilet seats for the Pentagon. The veto also comes on the heels of a recent report that looks into the hidden costs of conducting two wars in the Middle East. Bush’s 0.8 trillion dollar war is more like one and a half trillion dollars once you factor in things like higher cost of oil, lost productivity and interest payments on money borrowed to finance the wars.

Hundreds of billions for defense, but not a penny for a cure for cancer, not a dime for Project Head Start.

It’s S-CHIP all over again I’m afraid. In Congress, they are again about a baker’s dozen votes below an override, only 53 Republicans voted for the bill. In the Senate, there was a huge margin, 73-19. And in the Senate, again Texas’s senators cancelled out each others’ vote with Hutchison voting yea, and Rubber Stamp Cornyn voting Nay with his 18 Republican friends.

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