Sunday, May 30, 2004


More Fun With Republicans And Budgets

I wonder when they will start to clean up their own party.

And, I wonder how long it will take them to whine if something similar happens to them when the Democrats take over a la the stink made about Mr. Bush's conservative judicial nominations.

Budget Chicanery

If you want to know how serious the Bush White House is about something, it is often useful to watch the House of Representatives. The president's spokesmen frequently pay lip service to goals that sound great. Only by checking the actions of the loyalist leadership of the House can you discern what President Bush really means.

The president has said many times that he has offered a budget that will cut the record deficit of this year in half in the next five years. So one would think that in the House, where his word is law, those marching orders would be carried forward.

On the face of it, Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle of Iowa claims to have done the president one year better -- halving the ugly deficit in four years.

Don't believe it. The House budget is a document that makes ordinary Washington budgetary "smoke and mirrors" look good.

It was brought to the floor on May 19 under the sort of strong-arm procedures that Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay use when they know they've got a turkey on their hands. Last year, with the Medicare drug benefits bill (whose true cost we now know was deliberately underestimated and concealed by the administration), their tactic was delay. The House was kept in session all night; the actual roll call was stretched to almost three hours -- not the normal 15 minutes. Dawn was breaking over the Capitol when the necessary votes were finally squeezed.

On this bill, they put on the rush job. The budget was filed at 6:20 a.m. At 7:15 a.m., the Rules Committee met to clear it for debate. A couple of hours later, the House met for an abbreviated session and adjourned, and when it met again to take up the budget at 11 a.m., it was "deemed" to have satisfied the requirement that all legislation lay over one day so members can become familiar with it.

David S. Broder, Washington Post

*Emphasis added.

Strong-arm procedures? These guys should be wearing ski masks.

Read the rest of the article for some more Republican budgetary chicanery.

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