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Senate Republicans Will Block Veterans Bill

Old 11-02-07, 09:34 AM
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Senate Republicans Will Block Veterans Bill

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/...007-11-02.html

Senate Republicans said Thursday they would invoke new ethics rules to block Democratic efforts to send to President Bush the first appropriations package of the 110th Congress.

Despite Republican grumbling, House and Senate negotiators on Thursday agreed to tack a $65 billion bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction onto a $151 billion bill for the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education departments. The Veterans Affairs measure is about $4 billion more than Bush’s budget request, and the Labor-HHS-Education bill would add $10 billion to the president’s proposal.

When the conference report moves to the Senate floor — which could happen as early as next week — Republicans plan to raise a point of order to strike the language on Veterans Affairs and military construction. The move will likely intensify a partisan battle over spending priorities and allow each side to blame the other for delaying funding for veterans.

“It will be up to Republicans in the Senate whether they want to turn [their] back on our veterans right before Veterans Day,” said Patty Murray of Washington, a member of Senate Democratic leadership who sits on the Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee.

“Where does this process take us except to delay getting vital needed funds to our veterans?” said Rep. Roger Wicker (Miss.), ranking Republican on the corresponding House subcommittee.

Bush and congressional Republicans are protesting Democratic efforts to tie the two measures together, arguing that the majority is holding veterans’ money hostage for an incremental increase in domestic policy programs.

Bush has threatened to veto the Labor-HHS measure, but not the spending bill for veterans and military construction.

Democrats argue that the process is hardly unprecedented, and say that the White House is out of step with the public in opposing increased funding for health research and education. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he wants to send to Bush the first fiscal 2008 appropriations package by the end of next week.

But for that goal to be fulfilled, Democrats will have to get around procedural hurdles in the Senate.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), the ranking Republican on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs panel, said she would raise a point of order on the Senate floor to strike the $65 billion for veterans and military construction. The point of order would object to adding new legislative language in a House-Senate conference committee. The Senate needs 60 votes to override the point of order.

Under the new ethics law, which was enacted in September, sustaining a point of order would strike the offending language, in this case the Veterans Affairs measure. The bill without the offending language would then be sent back to the House for reconsideration. Before the law, sustaining the point of order under Senate Rule 28 would essentially kill the bill.

Congress changed the rules to make it easier for members to strike language inserted during the penultimate stage of the legislative process. When they regained their majority at the beginning of the year, Democrats vowed to make conference committee action more transparent after complaining for years that Republicans had abused the process by inserting provisions in the dead of night.

At Thursday’s conference committee, Republicans warned that tying the two bills together would be fruitless.

“This bill will undoubtedly be split,” said Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), a senior appropriator.

But House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) warned that if Senate Republicans sustain a point of order to split the bill, they would be held responsible for holding up funding for veterans and military personnel.
“I fail to understand your logic, sir,” Stevens said.

“That isn’t the first time someone has failed to understand my logic,” Obey retorted.
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No bolding is necessary.

It was my understanding that Bush would veto the VA bill even it was stand-alone bill, because it called for $4 billion than what Bush has called for.

It seems as if Bush is going to veto any appropriations measure that comes to his desk. He is most likely to veto the water bill which is currently on his desk. He confirmed today that he will veto the revised SCHIP bill.

The Democrats could retaliate by delaying his Iraq spending request - maybe even until year. Sen. Harry Reid hinted at that with remarks he made on the floor a few minutes ago.

Last edited by classicman2; 11-02-07 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:45 AM
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Congress shouldn't delay Iraq spending. They should cut it off completely.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:54 AM
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So is the President trying to pad his Veto stats?
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Old 11-02-07, 10:59 AM
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Or they could just send the two bills through individually. But then, some people don't want transparacy in government spending.
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Old 11-02-07, 11:11 AM
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Oh - that's really great coming from the Republicans.

Transparency

How many continuing resolutions and bundling of 9-10 appropriation bills did the Repbs do when they in the majority?

That's about as bad as Bush talking about deficit spending.

I'll say this for the Repubs - they do have a sense of humor.
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Old 11-02-07, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I'll say this for the Repubs - they do have a sense of humor.
<i>Mod note: this sort of generalization, even if accompanied by a 'smiley', is against forum rules. Thank you.</i>
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Old 11-02-07, 11:19 AM
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You've gotta be joking!!
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Old 11-02-07, 11:33 AM
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Wait a minute here. You mean the president who I hear every night being called the biggest spending president ever is now being criticized because he wants to stop spending so much? That figures.
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Old 11-02-07, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2


Oh - that's really great coming from the Republicans.

Transparency

How many continuing resolutions and bundling of 9-10 appropriation bills did the Repbs do when they in the majority?

That's about as bad as Bush talking about deficit spending.

I'll say this for the Repubs - they do have a sense of humor.


You have got to be kidding. You have brought forth the "They did it first" argument. No wonder we should vote for Democrats.

I understand why the Democrats wouldn't want to improve the system. They believe they will have a chance to rape it after the next election.
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Old 11-02-07, 12:52 PM
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I'm not sure the Republicans want anyone to vote for them anymore. 1968 here we come!!
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Old 11-02-07, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Wait a minute here. You mean the president who I hear every night being called the biggest spending president ever is now being criticized because he wants to stop spending so much? That figures.
He doesn't want to stop spending. He wants to stop the other party's spending. There's a difference.
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Old 11-02-07, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
He doesn't want to stop spending. He wants to stop the other party's spending. There's a difference.
Do you really think when they total up how much Bush has "spent" they don't include Democrat sponsored bills in the calculation? or they don't include pork thrown in by the Democrats?
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Old 11-02-07, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
...they don't include pork thrown in by the Democrats?
Zod, please dont' tell me that you honestly believe the Dems are the only party capable of pork. There's a bridge to nowhere in Alaska that Mr. Young (R-AL) thought would be a good idea.
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Old 11-02-07, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Do you really think when they total up how much Bush has "spent" they don't include Democrat sponsored bills in the calculation? or they don't include pork thrown in by the Democrats?
Of course the Repubs would never think of throwing 'pork' into any legislation.

Young, Lott, Stevens, & a host of others - kings of 'pork.'
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Old 11-02-07, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Do you really think when they total up how much Bush has "spent" they don't include Democrat sponsored bills in the calculation? or they don't include pork thrown in by the Democrats?
How many spending bills passed by the Republican congress have Bush vetoed?


Re: the water bill, I think Bush did geto it, but there should be enough votes to override it.

I don't know about spending on veterans, but hospitals were complaining about how many disabled Iraq vets needed treatment. It's possible that these funds are overdue.
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Old 11-02-07, 03:39 PM
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I never said Republicans didn't do it either. I'm simply reminding those that might have forgotten that some of the heat this president gets for "over spending" is from the very same people who asked him to spend it. Now that he's not willing to spend some of it all of a sudden he goes from an over-spending president to one who isn't willing to spend enough? Hypocrisy and politics at its best.
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Old 11-02-07, 03:40 PM
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Veterans programs have been underfunded for years by both parties.
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Old 11-02-07, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I never said Republicans didn't do it either. I'm simply reminding those that might have forgotten that some of the heat this president gets for "over spending" is from the very same people who asked him to spend it. Now that he's not willing to spend some of it all of a sudden he goes from an over-spending president to one who isn't willing to spend enough? Hypocrisy and politics at its best.
There is a touch of hypocrisy, wouldn't you agree.

Why is he so concerned about spending when he didn't exhibit that concern when the Republican Congress was spending money like it was going out of style?
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Old 11-02-07, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Of course the Repubs would never think of throwing 'pork' into any legislation.

Young, Lott, Stevens, & a host of others - kings of 'pork.'
But try to put a stop to it, and the Democrats will finally get in line with the Republicans. Well, and you.
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Old 11-02-07, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I understand why the Democrats wouldn't want to improve the system. They believe they will have a chance to rape it after the next election.

What system are you talking about?
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Old 11-02-07, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
But try to put a stop to it, and the Democrats will finally get in line with the Republicans. Well, and you.
Hmm! I see. You consider veteran's health care to be pork.
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Old 11-02-07, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I never said Republicans didn't do it either. I'm simply reminding those that might have forgotten that some of the heat this president gets for "over spending" is from the very same people who asked him to spend it. Now that he's not willing to spend some of it all of a sudden he goes from an over-spending president to one who isn't willing to spend enough? Hypocrisy and politics at its best.
As far as I know, the GOP controlled Congress for almost his entire presidency. You are going to put the blame on the Dems for the past few months?

Does not compute.
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Old 11-02-07, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Hmm! I see. You consider veteran's health care to be pork.
I consider it, like most everything, as being able to have a vote on it's own if it is what what they claim it is. But that won't get a bridge to nowhere built.
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Old 11-02-07, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I consider it, like most everything, as being able to have a vote on it's own if it is what what they claim it is. But that won't get a bridge to nowhere built.
You do know that the so-called 'bridge to nowhere' was not an earmark?

Your party, when in power, lumped appropriation bill after appropriation bill into a package. Can you search and find a post you made that was critical of that?
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Old 11-02-07, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Why is he so concerned about spending when he didn't exhibit that concern when the Republican Congress was spending money like it was going out of style?
Exactly.

Republican spending = practically a blank check

Democrat spending = vetoes Democrat-driven spending (sometimes)

Looks like a sucky record on spending to me. That and the multi-billion dollar deficit we have every year. Oh wait, I forgot, deficits don't matter, you can always borrow more!
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