Bush Vetos Farm 300 Billion Dollar Farm Bill AGAIN

June 18, 2008


President Bush vetoed a $300 billion farm bill again Wednesday after a clerical error forced Congress to send the measure to his desk for a second time. Even after realizing the bill was missing 34 pages when it was sent to Bush’s desk originally, Congress hoped he might sign it into law although it was highly unlikely since they had voted to override his veto the first time.

The discovery of the missing section, “Title III,” prompted concerns from House Republicans that the override vote was improper. In order to put “Title III” into effect, Congress re-passed the entire legislation, including the missing pages, and resent it to Bush. The House voted 306-110 at the end of May. The Senate voted 77-15 for the bill at the beginning of June.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the sections of the bill that were originally sent to the president had become law after Congress voted to override Bush’s first veto. The veto will almost assuredly be overturned again, especially after the bill was passed both houses by margins greater than the two-thirds majority required to override a veto by the Constitution.

Two-thirds of the $300 billion in spending allocated in the bill would be for nutrition programs such as food stamps. An additional $40 billion would go toward farm subsidies, and $30 billion will be allocated for payments to farms to keep land idle.

After vetoing the latest version of the farm bill, Bush on Wednesday scolded Congress for not “modifying certain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent provisions. … I am returning this bill for the same reasons as stated in my veto message.”

When he vetoed the first version of the farm bill, Bush said it “continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase”, suggesrting that it would hurt efforts to improve American farmers’ access to overseas markets.

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Impossible Math, Hillary, Give Up Already

June 2, 2008


Most of the 17 Democratic senators who are uncommitted superdelegates will endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president this week, sources told CNN Monday.

The lawmakers will wait until after the South Dakota and Montana primaries Tuesday before announcing their support for Obama, two sources familiar with discussions between Obama supporters and these senators told CNN’s Gloria Borger.

Obama supporters have been “pressing” for these superdelegates to endorse early this week, but according to one source, “the senators don’t want to pound Hillary Clinton, and there is a sense she should be given a grace period.”

A series of meetings on the topic have been facilitated at different times by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Durbin and Daschle are Obama supporters, while Harkin is uncommitted.

Obama is now 46 delegates short of the 2,118 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, while Clinton needs 202. There are 31 pledged delegates up for grabs in the Tuesday contests, and 202 superdelegates have yet to commit to either candidate.

Obama has the support of 331 superdelegates to Clinton’s 292.

Superdelegates are party elected officials and activists who are free to vote for either candidate.

Following Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary, Obama picked up two more superdelegate nods, and Clinton received one.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will remain uncommitted until Clinton officially drops out of the race, sources told CNN’s Candy Crowley, but that isn’t stopping the two party heavyweights from using their clout to bring the primary battle to a hasty end.

Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that she is prepared to intervene if the presidential race does not resolve itself by the end of June.

“I will step in,” Pelosi told the paper in an interview. “Because we cannot take this fight to the convention. … It must be over before then.”

A senior Democratic aide in Congress also told CNN on Friday that Pelosi is already calling uncommitted superdelegates and pressuring them to back either Obama or Clinton by the end of this week. Pelosi is collaborating with Reid on the effort.

In an interview with a San Francisco radio station last week, Reid said he spoke to Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “We all are going to urge our folks next week to make a decision very quickly,” Reid said.

Throughout the process, Dean has been pressing for superdelegates to make up their minds after this week’s contests.

Facing an insurmountable lead among pledged delegates, Clinton is now counting on the remaining superdelegates to push her over the finish line, a proposition her campaign admits is a tall order.

“Is the road steeper than it was several weeks ago?,” Clinton adviser Harold Ickes remarked on CNN’s “Late Edition” on Sunday. “The answer is yes.”

Still, Clinton told reporters after her primary win in Puerto Rico on Sunday that given her support among key demographics in swing states, she has proved she will be a stronger nominee than Obama against John McCain.

“I think it’s only now that we’re finishing these contests that people are going to actually reflect,” Clinton said on her campaign plane Sunday, referring to the uncommitted superdelegates. “Who’s our stronger candidate? And I believe I am, and I’m going to make that case, and at some point it will either be accepted or it won’t be, but I feel strongly about making it.”

Clinton argued that even superdelegates who have committed to Obama are free to “change their minds” — a suggestion the Obama campaign declined to comment on.
Despite the odds against her, Clinton continues to pick up support even as Obama grows his lead among superdelegates.

Original posting was found @ CNN.com

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Bush Dealt Proof His Influence Is Almost Gone

May 23, 2008

In a stunning vote that illustrated President Bush’s diminished standing, the Senate on Thursday ignored his veto threat and added tens of billions of dollars for veterans and the unemployed to his Iraq war spending bill.

A majority of Republicans broke ranks with Bush on a veto-proof 75-22 vote while adding more than $10 billion for various other domestic programs, including heating subsidies for the poor, wildfire fighting, road and bridge repair, and health research.

Democrats crowed about their victory. But the developments meant more confusion about when the must-pass measure might actually become law and what the final version will contain.

Senators voted 70-26 to approve $165 billion to fulfill Bush’s request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next spring, when Bush’s successor will set war policy.

Overall, the measure contains $212 billion over the coming two years — $28 billion more than the administration sought — plus about $50 billion more through 2017 for veterans’ education benefits.

Bush has promised to veto the Iraq spending if it exceeds his request. He has enough GOP support in the House to sustain a veto.

But the spectacle of 25 Senate Republicans abandoning the White House and voting to extend jobless benefits by 13 weeks and boost the GI Bill to provide veterans enough money to pay for a four-year education at a public institution made it plain that Bush’s influence is waning.

This rest of this story can be found: CNN.com

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