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Bush and GOP At Odds...Again

UPDATE 5:50 PM: Capitol Briefing was a bit off in his earlier prediction. The House passed the housing bill today on a 272-152 vote, a margin just small enough that the House could have sustained a veto if Bush had stuck to his guns. But of course, he didn't.

UPDATE 2:45 PM: Here's yet another example of divergence between Bush and Republicans on the Hill: Earlier today, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill that would transfer $8 billion from the general Treasury to shore up a deficit in the Highway Trust Fund. Bush has threatened to veto the measure, but the House brushed his objections aside today in approving it, 387-37. A whopping 159 Republicans joined every Democrat in voting "aye."

ORIGINAL POST: If you stood in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue this morning and listened closely, you could hear the sound of President Bush pulling the rug out from under House and Senate Republicans.

Bush this morning rescinded his veto threat against the pending housing rescue package, which is scheduled for a House vote later today. On a conference call, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters, "We believe this is not the time for a prolonged veto fight but we are confident the president would prevail in one."

That second part of her comment might have been true, but it's a moot point now, much to the chagrin of congressional conservatives who had planned to use the veto threat as a roadblock against the otherwise unstoppable political momentum building behind quick passage of the housing measure. Just yesterday, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) predicted that House Republicans could rally enough opposition among their members to sustain a Bush veto if he followed through with his threat.

But he won't, which means the measure will include $4 billion in block grants for local communities to buy up foreclosed properties, a provision Democrats strongly back but most Republicans and Bush have opposed. Blunt yesterday called it a "really bad idea." And while Bush is compromising on that front because he is eager to sign a bill to boost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, many conservatives dislike that part of the bill too.

Now the bill will cruise to passage in the House today. While 146-plus Republicans might have voted against the measure if Bush was going to veto it, far fewer may be willing do so now. The Senate is a slightly different story, if only because one or two senators can slow action in that chamber. But with Bush ready and waiting to sign the measure, there will be enormous political pressure on Senate Republicans not to prolong the fight.

Just last week, the roles were reversed, as Bush vetoed a Medicare measure and Republicans promptly defected and joined Democrats to override. Now Bush is returning the favor. And with the president an unpopular lame duck and congressional Republicans nervous about November, don't expect the two sides of Pennsylvania Avenue to patch things up anytime soon.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 23, 2008; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Agenda , Branch vs. Branch  
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What a pleasure to watch the vicious Republican devour themselves instead of sacrificing the needs of the American people.

Posted by: CSE5 | July 23, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans (the same ones over and over again, like McConnell, Hatch, Blunt, Boehner, Kuhl and on and on and on) sure do love to hurt the little guy and love to boost their rich buddies and corporations, don't they? How can anyone sit idly by and vote for them just because they think they are Republicans and those creeps have an R before or after their names. It makes no sense that people keep voting against themselves but it's because they just don't pay attention.

Posted by: Sue | July 23, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ben Pershing says: "Just last week, the roles were reversed, as Bush vetoed a Medicare measure and Republicans promptly defected and joined Democrats to override. Now Bush is returning the favor."

Is there any evidence that Bush is making his decisions on legislation based on some sort of childlike keeping-score motivation? That's the implication here and if so I'd love to read it. If not, hey, you are certainly entitled to your opinion but it would be fair to phrase it as an opinion and not as fact.

Posted by: washpost18 | July 23, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Republican voters will notice if their elected representatives and senators vote FOR bailing out Bear Sterns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but AGAINST bailing out the average Joe on his adjustable rate mortgage? Hint to Republican voters: It's all about the money!! And you ain't got enough!!

181 days till the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by: CardFan | July 23, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Georgie Bushie, Puddin' and Pie, Kissed the Congress and made them cry... not bad for a lame duck.

There is plenty of clean natural gas lying under the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico which Pelosi's Congress does not want you to have.

About 24.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were estimated to exist as "remaining proved reserves" in 928 proved active fields of the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf, as of December 31, 2002.

T - Bone - Pickens has another trillion idea: "Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas Panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20 percent of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns."

Posted by: alance | July 23, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Billions for the bankers and nothing for the homeowner in trouble. Fannie Mae CEO makes $32 million a year and paid Jesse Jackson several millions. No wonder they are insolvent.

Posted by: mascmen7 | July 23, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, while the dollar still has some worth, because it won't if THEY keep BORROWING and PRINTING NEW MONEY!

Yep, both the GOP and DEMS love to spend as they get to make their buddies RICH while we working stiffs get the debt!

The PROBLEM is that both MAJOR PARTIES are MAJORLY CROOKED BEYOND REPAIR, but that won't stop the majority of voters from voting for them...unfortunately! Yep, all it takes is a new face, representing the same ole CROOKED party and the voters focus on the new face...only to be burnt again by the PARTY that BOUGHT AND PAID FOR that face!

It is time for a VOTER REVOLUTION, meaning we REVOLT against the CROOKED POWERS THAT BE and select NEW PARTIES to replace these CROOKED ones!


Please consider joining me or select another 3rd Party to vote for, anything but the MAJORLY CROOKED TWO, as the time for CHANGE is long overdue and nothing good will come from either of these MAJORLY CROOKED PARTIES!

If one of these CROOKED parties wins more power to abuse, we have no one to blame but ourselves!

Posted by: James Jenkins | July 23, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This is "exactly" the time for a long veto fight. The majority of Americans don't want Welfare for Mortgage Bankers. John McCain has opposed it. Why is Bush doing this? Come George...take one for the team!

Posted by: John Bailo | July 23, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

GW Bush is trying his darnest not to be a lame-duck president propelling him towards being a president with one of the lowest approval ratings in recent history. At the same time, Bush is playing presidential politics although this is a double-edged sword.

Once Obama gets back into the US and enjoys an additional week of favorable press coverage from his international tour, he will get back to talking about the US economy. Obama will be on the people's side with this Housing legislation while McCain will have to choose between supporting Bush (in favor of it) or his fellow Senate and House Republicans (opposed to it).

It should make for good political theatre to watch McCain flip-flop in front of the Republican base.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 23, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

So yesterday the Wall Street Journal and its new satellite editorial station at the newspaper formerly known as the Washington Post were railing against the Democrats about the housing bill and fluffing Mr. 28% in support of his veto threat.

And today, he turns around and gives them the finger for political expediency.

Some days are just too good to be true - I'm going home early 'cause this one just can't get any better....

Posted by: LMAO | July 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty simple: Republican Congresspeople see the writing on the wall, and are distancing themselves from this lame duck disgrace as fast as their wing-tips will let them. Their main goal (regardless of party) is to re-elected.
And because most people in this country enjoy blissful ignorance and don't bother to vote, chances are most of these worthless hacks will return to Congress, only to cause further misery.
Wake up, citizens!

Posted by: vegasgirl | July 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

two veto overides in a row would mess with his argument that he is a monarch.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 23, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are voted into office by people who want to show off how spectacularly well they are able to hate.

Posted by: skeezix. | July 23, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans represent corporations first and foremost. Repubs somehow sucker Regular Joes into thinking they represent them - but Regular Joe ALWAYS suffers under Republican control.

When will Joe wake up and see this?

Posted by: Martiniano | July 23, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile Bob Novak is running over pedestrians and "not noticing" them while they're splayed out on his windshield.

Methinks someone should have given him a breathalyzer test - or at least shot him for leaving the scene of a crime.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | July 23, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This bill is nothing but another welfare handout. The stupid morons that bought more house than they could afford with a teaser interst rate deserve what they get. And the corporations that provided these loans knowing the risks deserve what they get as well. The Govt should not be bailing any of them out. This will just lead to a weakened dollar and higher taxes for us all.

Posted by: Steve | July 23, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Atten: Mr. Pershing. Re: Your column of 7-23-08. Mr. James Jenkins may be correct in calling the Congress crooked, but it the only Congress we have, and we have to make the best of it. While on the subject, it had better pass the necessary legislation to make the oil interests start drilling for oil, or the public will become as enraged, as I am, about the price of gasoline. That price is reflected in every thing that affects the quality of
life, including food, transportation, jobs, recreation and housing, and college education. How about it, Congress? Lets get on the ball before the public gets on you. With sincere best wishes. kbs

Posted by: Kenneth B. Smith, P.E. | July 23, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments posted by some regarding the Republicans, and how they side with the corporations, didn't read the article very carefully - you'll see that many Conservatives do NOT want to bail Fannie and Freddie out. That is called corporate welfare. True Conservatives believe that sloppy companies should fail as a warning to shareholders not to invest in poorly run corporations. So, please, knock off the "average joe" rhetoric.

Posted by: DC Native | July 23, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, Steve, most people do not read the fine print in mortgage loans (and nobody deserves to lose their home as a result (although the loss of home is the likely outcome)).
As an attorney, I did read the fine print - I found an error, and I corrected it prior to execution. Perhaps the solution lies in drafting legal documents in plain English, and highlighting the important terms therein. I do agree that corporations should get what they deserve - they should have known better.

Posted by: DC Native | July 23, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

No repubs. No dems. Just men and women who are going to make a lot of money by taking care of those who will be paying them later. Congress, my as*. Just one big corporation out to control the rest of us.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

To every neo-con believing in the neo-con ideology...

"My country, right or wrong" is not something a true patriot would ever say. It's the same as saying "My mother, drunk or sober."

Posted by: skeezix | July 23, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow

Posted by: Kenneth B. Smith, P.E. | July 23, 2008 5:00 PM
Gas Price Manipulation And Gull Island OilThree wells have been drilled, proven, and capped at Gull Island. ... Bay Alaskan oil is low in comparison to oil from other sources in the U.S., as well as ...

Global Resource Corp. - Applications - Plugged / Stripper Oil Wells- 8:08pmA microwave unit is lower into the CAPPED / STRIPPER OIL WELL CAVERN through the existing oil well drilling pipe ... EMAIL US. (4) Bureau of Land Management ...

Posted by: Katerina Deligiannis | July 24, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The Worst President Ever! Now that everyone sees that the emperor has no clothes, what can be said of all the Republicans who stood there cheering for the 'well-dressed' monarch? Such honesty, judgment and straight-talk. The entire administration was a fraud! Just like securitized mortgages, deregulated banks, out-sourced military, politicized government agencies.

No wonder they try so hard to get away from the irrelevant Bush-child.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 24, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It is nice to see the rats finally scurrying here and there trying to abandon this sinking Republican ship. However, they will not succeed. Most Americans have smartened up and will demonstrate their wiser ways come November. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Posted by: Roy | July 27, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

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