Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The GOP's latest bid to control the GOP's spending

The Hill has an interesting anecdote:
On a flight back from Las Vegas aboard Air Force One on Monday, Sen. John Ensign urged President Bush to issue a veto threat against the $106.5 billion emergency war-funding bill under Senate consideration this week.

The Nevada Republican carried a message that many of his conservative colleagues and their constituents hoped would move the president to aid them in trimming the spending package, which also contains money for hurricane relief, fighting avian flu, port security and farm programs, by as much as $14 billion.
The A.P. shows the results:
WASHINGTON — The White House promised Tuesday to veto a huge Senate bill that would pay the rising costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and repair Hurricane Katrina damage unless the cost to taxpayers was scaled back to President Bush's original requests.
The editorial page of the Washington Post places blame on everyone:
The Bush administration is at fault here for insisting on financing the war, four years into the conflict, as if it were an emergency. As Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) noted in a Wall Street Journal column last week, the size of supplementals has grown nearly fivefold, from an annual average of $22 billion during the 1990s to more than $100 billion in recent years.

But Congress has seized gleefully on the opportunity to spend even more. After the Bush administration requested $92.2 billion in extra spending, the Senate Appropriations Committee matched that and raised it $14.3 billion. (The House actually came in just below the president's request.) CongressDaily calculated that the Senate added money at a rate of more than $80 million per minute during the two-hour markup.

Even more may end up being added on the Senate floor. We hope a majority will show enough restraint to strip out some of the worst pork. And we hope that President Bush, whose budget office said last night that he "strongly objects" to the railroad money and would veto the measure if it exceeds his original request, manages to stop this irresponsibility.


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