To hear AP's Andrew Taylor tell it, Democrats are just loading the Iraq Withdrawal bill up with pork. Reading his description of it is enough to make you think of Ted Stevens' Bridge To Nowhere, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, or any of the other things named after the unrivaled pork king of the US Senate. He refers to the various add-ons to the bill as "pet projects".
Once you get deeper into the article, you find out what those "pet projects" are--- $3.5 billion to provide medical care for veterans. $2.5 billion to improve airport screening (Not like we've EVER had an air disaster that could have been prevented with better screening, right?) $2.9 billion for levee improvement and relief to the Gulf Coast. Increasing the budget for developing a flu vaccine. $4.3 billion in disaster aid for farmers in California and the Great Plains.
You know. "Pet projects".
Get deep enough into the article, and you'll find the real reason for the add-ons:
"Wartime funding should be not used as a gravy train," said Senate GOP conservative Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.
But Gregg said the White House would be hard-pressed to veto the bill over the add-ons, and White House aides have conspicuously failed to issue one — though a veto promise hangs over the bill because of its higher-profile provisions setting a deadline for ending the U.S. military role in Iraq.
Yes, there it is--- How villainous of them! The Democrats have forced the Decider to veto Homeland Security funding and disaster relief if he vetoes the bill to withdraw from Iraq.
Actually, it sounds like the same legislative strategy Republicans have used for years. Attach a "poison pill" to bills and force Democrats to come out on the "wrong side" of a red meat issue.
It's nice to see the Democrats stepping up and using this strategy. Bush may not want the war to end (At least not until another president takes over)--- But he can't veto Homeland Security money and levee maintenance, can he?