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November 12, 2007

Democrat's Attempt to Create Veto-proof Spending Bill Fails

Over the past few weeks, I've been telling you about the Democrats' attempt to hook up the Labor/HHS/Education and Veterans Affairs spendings bills in order to keep President Bush from vetoing the bloated bill. Bob Novak reports that the combined bill was "decoupled" last Tuesday on a straight party-line vote.

The Democratic scheme to present President George W. Bush with a bill that he could not veto seemed a clever strategy, but it was based on presumption of Republican ignorance and cowardice. As late as last Monday, savvy GOP Senate staffers predicted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's decoupling motion would fail. In fact, she did not lose a Republican senator, as Democrats fell far short of the 60 votes needed to keep the two bills together.

I've highlighted that phrase because it provides delicious contrast with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's reaction when he realized his pork-laden Labor/HHS/Education spending bill is going to be vetoed:

In an extraordinary outburst against the 19 switchers, Majority Leader Reid called them "sheep and chickens" who had "chosen to defend a failed president."

For once, I'm proud of all our Republican Senators (and not just usual few). Make no mistake, the Labor/HHS/Education bill is more than worthy of a veto. The compromise bill is $10 billion more expensive than either the House or the Senate versions.

You remember the Senate amendment championed by Senator Tom Coburn which prohibited spending on the Woodstock Museum? It was a victory for the porkbusters crowd and it was dropped in conference. Senator Chuck Schumer now "assures" Coburn that though the provision was dropped, money will not be spent on the "hippie museum."

Reid "airdropped" nine earmarks into the conference bill without passing them by the House or the Senate first. That includes $1 million for the Thomas Daschle Center for Public Service and Representative Democracy at South Dakota State University.

Poor Tom Daschle is going to lose his personalized earmark because of the "sheep and chickens." I love it.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:53 PM

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