That is the headline of an AP article today. At first read you start to think “great – here we go again with pork barrel spending”. It sends a feeling of “bridges to nowhere” encompassing my body. But when you read the article, you find out that is not the case at all.
While Democrats try to restrict how President Bush can spend the $100 billion he wants for Iraq, they also hope to load his measure up with $10 billion in add-ons â€” from aid for avocado growers to help for children lacking health insurance.
Lawmakers also hope to add money for drought relief in the Great Plains, better levees in New Orleans and development of military bases that are closing down.
The expected battle with the White House over the add-ons is getting far less attention than debate over Iraq, but it could reveal a lot about how much Democrats will be able to rewrite the Republican president’s budget later this year.
I do have to say this is a good move. Will Bush veto the very bill to fund his surge? Think of the political backfire on that. This is a good reason for not having a line-item veto power for the President, all though I bet he tries to do so with his signing statements. What ever happens, this will be interesting to follow.