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Old 04-09-2003, 01:25 PM   #1
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Bush abuses patriotism to close some leaks in governments budget?

Does Bush abuse the patriotism and the widely support for the troops?

Quote:
Senate Rolls a Pork Barrel Into War Bill
By DAVID FIRESTONE

WASHINGTON, April 8 — The hour was late, the war in Iraq was raging, and members of the Senate simply wanted to pass the $80 billion bill to pay for the war and go home for the night. In their haste, many senators never realized last week that they were also voting to send $10 million to a research station at the South Pole that had had a hard winter.

Or that they were approving $3.3 million to fix a leaky dam in Vermont.

Or allowing themselves to spend more money to send notices of town meetings to voters.

Or allowing the Border Patrol to accept donations of body armor for dogs.

In fact, there were dozens of pork-barrel projects and special interest provisions that were inserted at the last minute Thursday night into the bill to pay for the war in Iraq, and the lawmakers were not particularly shy about acknowledging what they did.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, for example, sent out a news release to reporters in her home state, boasting of helping the Alaska seafood industry with a provision allowing wild salmon to be labeled as organic. The release does not even mention that the intention of the overall bill was to pay for the war and improve domestic security. The provision was inserted into the measure by Ms. Murkowski's Republican colleague from Alaska, Senator Ted Stevens, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Members of the House, who thought they had an agreement with the Senate to keep the war bill "clean" and free of extraneous matter, were furious this week when they saw what the Senate had passed. Although the House bill includes a $3 billion aid package for the airlines, it is relatively free of the personal projects inserted by members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. House leaders say they are determined to keep it that way as they negotiate the final bill.

"I'm very concerned about that, because we had an agreement with the Senate leadership that we would try to keep this bill as clean as possible," Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, said today. "These things do nothing but slow down the process of getting the bill, and hopefully the conference committee can work out the differences and bring out a clean supplemental."

Even more exercised was Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who berated his colleagues on the floor last week for approving dozens of nonwar projects, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, without even reading them.

"I was really appalled," said Mr. McCain. "Here, in the name of fighting the war in Iraq, they loaded up the bill with pork-barrel spending. I mean, I didn't realize that Al Qaeda had reached all the way to the South Pole, but it's an example of a process that's simply out of control."

But members of the Appropriations Committee, who brought up most of the extraneous provisions after 10 p.m. on Thursday, about 40 minutes before the bill would be passed, said many of the expenditures were vital and needed to be attached to a bill that was guaranteed approval. Although the president calls the measure a war bill, they said, it is really a wide-ranging appropriations bill that may be the only vehicle for months to enact important provisions.

"The administration itself has asked for funds in this bill that have nothing to do with Iraq, such as their request for aid to Colombia," said David Carle, a spokesman for Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who inserted several additions to the bill. "Each year there is a midyear course-correction bill like this to address issues like these that cannot or should not wait another year." Mr. Carle was referring to the $104 million in the bill the president requested for antinarcotics efforts in Colombia.

The Senate bill included these special items:

ĥAn increase from $320 million to $330 million for a science research station at the South Pole. A spokesman for Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, who inserted the provision, said Antarctica had had a difficult winter and the station needed to lay extra pipes to get oil from a tanker ship.

ĥA communications system for the metropolitan government of Louisville-Jefferson County in Kentucky, which will cost $5 million. A spokesman for Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, said he asked for the money as part of the domestic security section of the bill, because police radios in the area work on different frequencies and need to be upgraded.

ĥA provision that would make it easier for senators to send out postcards to constituents to notify them of town meetings. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, would eliminate wording that limited the taxpayer-financed postcards to counties of fewer than 250,000 people.

"This is directly related to the war effort," said Mr. Specter, who is preparing for a tough re-election battle. "Meeting with the people of Pennsylvania is an important part of our job, including informing them of the war effort. It's really laughable to suggest this is anything but a minuscule change."

ĥAn amendment that would prohibit the German-owned DHL Worldwide Express delivery company from carrying American military cargo. The provision, sponsored by several senators, came after lobbying by Federal Express and United Parcel Service, according to Senate officials, and could hinder a proposed merger between DHL and Airborne Express.

ĥA provision to shift $3.3 million to repair a leaking dam in Waterbury, Vt. A spokesman for Mr. Leahy said the need to rebuild the dam was urgent and could not wait until the next appropriations bill.

ĥA provision to allow the Border Patrol to accept donations of body armor for patrol dogs, also inserted by Mr. Leahy. An 11-year-old girl in Vermont has been raising money to buy a bulletproof vest for a patrol dog, but the current legislation does not allow the patrol to accept gifts.

All of these provisions were inserted into the bill by Mr. Stevens in an omnibus package of changes, known as a "manager's amendment," just before the final vote on the legislation. Mr. McCain could have objected to the package and held up the entire bill, but he said he decided not to do so because of the need to pay for the war. But he said he would not agree to any more manager's amendments in future spending bills.
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Old 04-09-2003, 02:20 PM   #2
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gotta love good ole pork barreling
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Old 04-09-2003, 03:35 PM   #3
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yes he does, it was pretty obvious before this.


he should really realize that support for the troops doesn't mean support for war.


oh, and i'm going to put this in war, as it's more related to those topics
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Old 04-09-2003, 03:36 PM   #4
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i dont think these fellas wanna hear about it right now..



Please dont wreck their day.
I dont thnk we as Americans will suffer overly for the oversight of these numbers..

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Old 04-09-2003, 03:39 PM   #5
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This is more of a domestic issue diamond.


I don't know about you, but I don't like being taken advantage of, especially by my President/Congress/other leaders.
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Old 04-09-2003, 03:42 PM   #6
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ok
fine
I will cut em a check back for the overages

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Old 04-09-2003, 03:42 PM   #7
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Its alright diamond, everyone has seen it in the news. I agree it is a great picture, anyway according to European news it was a U.S. tank that brought the statue down, the Iraqis were standing around and cheering. There´s some cheering going on, but a lot of thieves too. The war isn´t over yet. Anyway, good luck to the Iraqis, and I hope they´ll install their own government instead of puppets that Bush wants to install there.

To the budget: I could care less. thats not my problem, but the problem of Americans. Actually I should post in another thread in order not to hijack this one.

Have a great day, all of you!
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Old 04-09-2003, 05:18 PM   #8
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This is true US Democracy in action. Happens in every bill (almost) passed.
That's how the exclusion of vaccines from recourse in the courts went through with the Patriot Act, because of the unneeded preservative (can't remember the name, but can look it up) in MMR's that have been proven to cause a greater chance of autism went through . Even though the smallpox doesn't even use this preservative.

edited to add
And we want to export this all over the world. hehe.
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Old 04-09-2003, 05:23 PM   #9
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The pork barrel provisions are the costs of buying votes. A long-standing disgusting habit of the Congress for decades.


Anyone for the line item veto?
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Old 04-09-2003, 06:01 PM   #10
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You know what, I really think Arnold would be more careful in his way of spending. He´s the only conservative who I would vote for.
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Old 04-09-2003, 06:02 PM   #11
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uhmm.... where does it say that Bush put this stuff in there? Congress makes and passes the bills folks. Congress put that stuff in there last minute.

Bush? No.
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Old 04-09-2003, 06:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Anyone for the line item veto?
Declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Clinton had it briefly. I would be afraid of what Bush would have done with it.

It's probably for the best.

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Old 04-09-2003, 06:38 PM   #13
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I believe Reagan wanted it as a Constitutional Amendment - like that will ever happen.
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Old 04-09-2003, 07:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Clinton had it briefly. I would be afraid of what Bush would have done with it.

It's probably for the best.

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