Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle sent a fastball right under the chin of Congress this weekend when he said that the president would veto the multibillion-dollar omnibus spending bill being put together by congressional Democrats.
The deal being put together by the Democrats is pretty amazing: We will drop our opposition to this war (at least for now) if you give us more pork.
This strategy will infuriate their base and energize Republicans. Nussle rightly called it legislative blackmail.
Republicans shouldn’t care about the broken promises made to the Democratic base by Democratic leaders. But it sure is fun to watch.
Democrats have promised an end to the war. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have said in various forums that this would be the last spending bill without timetables that the president would get. They have promised to hold their breath until their faces go blue (figuratively speaking).
And now we learn that all of this was a ruse to get more pork.
Now, I am not one to condemn earmarks. I believe that they are the grease that helps make the Congress work. And I know how members (on both sides of the aisle) have been desperate for their projects for well over a year.
But for Democratic leaders to pull such an about-face in such a nakedly transactional way is mind-boggling.
It’s amateur hour in the Congress, and if it weren’t for the presidential primaries, more people would notice.
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