Brief Recap:Bush asked for another $196 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, the House of Representatives offered him $50 billion, with a timetable for troop withdrawal. Sen. Harry Reid said “he damn sure is not entitled to having this money given to him just with a blank check. Americans need someone fighting for them taking on this bully we have in the White House.” If Bush wanted money to continue his widely unpopular wars, he would finally have to accept a timetable for troop withdrawal. It looked like the legislative branch might actually check the power of the executive branch!
Apparently not so much.
The Senate approved a spending bill that included and additional $70 billion for the wars with no timetable for troop withdrawal.
“We have come to a very successful conclusion of this year’s Congress,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, who pushed for the added war financing.
Really Mitch? This is what you call successful? I’d really hate to see your idea of failure. Let’s look how both parties have failed the American people with this spending bill.
Republicans, and particularly the Bush administration, have proven once again that their stubborn “my way or the highway” politics of sticking their fingers in their ears and vetoing everything that comes their way actually DOES get them what they want. Harry Reid called Bush a bully. I’d say he’s more of a spoiled child, but either way, he got his way again.
Democrats failed the country by spinelessly backing dow- I mean “compromising” once again in the interest of tacking in their own little spending projects at the last minute.
The overall spending bill encountered opposition from conservative Senate Republicans who were unhappy with the more than 8,000 home-state projects inserted into the legislation by lawmakers and the rush to passage.
“As we approach the end of the year, Congress once again finds itself on a last-minute spending spree, approving billions of dollars of new spending with few questions asked, no amendments allowed and little debate, discussion or inspection permitted,” said Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma.
So Congress wastes time dicking around with bills that celebrate Christianity, and then passes this rushed spending bill at the last minute so they can cram as many of their 8,000 pet projects into the bill at the last second while still allowing Bush to continue his war that the majority of Americans do not want.
I can’t help but feel like we’re the ones getting fucked here. Senator Russ Feingold from Wisconsin says it best:
“What are we supposed to tell them and their families?” Mr. Feingold asked. “To wait another year until a new administration and a new Congress starts listening to the American people and brings this tragedy to a close?”
While the spending bill still has to pass the House, with almost no time left before Congress breaks for their obviously well-deserved vacation, it’s doubtful anything will change. We’ll keep you updated if it does.
Senate Adds $70 Billion for Wars in Spending Bill – [New York Times]