President Bush on Tuesday vetoed a major spending measure that would have funded education, health care and job training programs, saying it contained money for too many of the special projects known as earmarks. But he signed a $459 billion bill to increase the Pentagon’s nonwar funding.
The veto, on a measure providing $150.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, was announced as Bush was en route to Indiana to deliver an economics speech in which chastised Congress for “wasteful spending” and describe it as acting “like a teenager with a new credit card.”
The president’s action guaranteed a new round of wrangling with the Democrats who control Congress over war costs and clashing domestic spending priorities.
No doubt about it. Wrangling to come. $459 billion for the Pentagon’s non-war expenses on the one hand, and on the other hand roughly one-third of that for folks like you and me — and the smaller amount constitutes acting like a teenager with a credit card. Madness.
But not to worry. The House passed this domestic spending bill by a vote of 274 to 141, just three shy of being able to override the veto. And seventeen representatives didn’t vote. Go for it, Nancy. Go! Errr…
But in her immediate response to the veto, the Democratic speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi, adopted a restrained tone, saying that compromise was possible but that the president needed to help if the two sides were to find “common ground.”
That’s it, Madame Speaker. To hell with education, health care and job training programs. Go and compromise with George W. Bush. Maybe this time he won’t pull the football away when you try to kick it.