Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Bush mocks pork in war funding"

Better late than never? From the Washington Times:
President Bush yesterday ridiculed House and Senate lawmakers for pork-laden Iraq war funding bills that set 2008 deadlines for full U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, vowing to veto what he called "arbitrary" limits on U.S. military commanders.

Addressing a group of raucous ranchers at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Washington, the president drew laughter and applause as he lampooned the competing bills now working their ways through Congress.

On the Senate bill, Mr. Bush noted that "there's $3.5 million for visitors to tour the Capitol and see for themselves how Congress works." To loud laughter from the cattlemen, he added: "I'm not kidding you."

"The bill includes $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers," he said to laughter. "There's $6.4 million for the House of Representatives' salaries and expense accounts. I don't know what that is, but it is not related to the war and protecting the United States of America," he said to more laughter and applause.

The president urged lawmakers to deliver a bill he can sign.

"Here's the bottom line: The House and Senate bills have too much pork, too many conditions on our commanders, and an artificial timetable for withdrawal," Mr. Bush said. "And I have made it clear for weeks, if either version comes to my desk, I'm going to veto it.

Hey, whaddaya know! The man might dust off his veto pen for the second! Had he known where that pen was over the last five or so years when his party was porkin' it up, he might have spared his party the bloodbath of last November (well, partially spared them, anyway). Continuing:
"It is also clear from the strong opposition in both houses that my veto would be sustained. Yet Congress continues to pursue these bills, and as they do, the clock is ticking for our troops in the field," he said.

Democrats, however, accused the president of stubbornly sticking with a failed Iraq policy and demanded that Mr. Bush listen to the American people.

"Now that congressional Democrats have voted to give the troops the resources they need in combat, including a strategy to change course and get them out of a civil war, it's up to the president to drop his stubborn veto threat so there is no delay in funding for our troops," said Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "He should also stop ignoring the will of the American people, put partisanship aside and work with Congress to fix his failed policies in Iraq."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada agreed.

"Why doesn't he get real with what's going on with the world?" he said after Mr. Bush's speech. "We're not holding up funding in Iraq, and he knows that. Why doesn't he deal with the real issues facing the American people?"

How disingenuous (yet typical) of the left! If Reid and his leftard ilk can explain how peanut and spinach subsidies (and other pork projects) have squat to do with war funding, I'd love to hear it.

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