As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mr. Irrelevant

Yesterday 142 Republicans joined Democrats in the House in overriding a Presidential veto on a needed water projects bill. You can safely assume that the same thing will happen in the Senate.

This is the first veto out of the dozens that have been promised on budget and spending bills that has reached the override stage, and it appears to be clearing that hurdle easily. So go ahead, Mr. Bush, keeping vetoing these bills and make yourself even more irrelevant.

In the wingnut view of the world, Republicans lost in 2006 because of runaway spending. This is completely untrue, and even if it was, overriden vetoes on future spending isn't exactly going to "restore the roar." Democratic spending priorities are crafted under the principle of PAYGO, requiring actual revenue for the spending. Republicans never had any such constraints. So the raw spending numbers are irrelevant; unlike Republicans, Democrats are coming up with ways to pay for them.

In addition, there looks to be an imminent compromise on SCHIP:

Congressional negotiators said Tuesday they were nearing agreement on a revised children's health bill that they believed would withstand President Bush's veto.

Their goal is a measure that will attract about two dozen more House Republicans to a bid to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion [...]

Negotiators said they were trying to agree on how to pressure states into enrolling at least 90 percent of eligible low-income children before allowing middle-class families to participate in the program. Bush and his GOP allies have said middle-income families will displace more deserving poor families if strong incentives to sign up low-income families first are not required.

The program is aimed at families that do not qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford health insurance.

The eligibility hoop is draconian, and I still don't appreciate the gimmick tax for funding, but eventually we're going to get to a place where Republicans can support the bill. Note that Democrats are negotiating with their Republican counterparts on this bill, not the President. On domestic issues, he's completely cut out of the loop.

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