# The end of the Bush era, at last

Staff Emeritus
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WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Congress on Thursday overturned a veto by President George W. Bush for the first time in his presidency, giving approval to a bill on river and waterway projects.

"In overriding President Bush's veto today, the Senate stood up for America's waterways and water infrastructure," said the influential Michigan Senator Carl Levin.

The Senate voted by 79 to 14 in favor of overturning Bush's veto of the ambitious 23-billion dollar bill which the US leader believed was too costly.

The Senate vote followed a similar vote in the lower House of Representatives on Tuesday, when 361 US lawmakers voted in favor of overturning the veto to 54 against -- more than the two-thirds majority required.[continued]

This strikes me as the final death blow for the Bush admin. He is now completely lame unless his agenda happens to coincide with the GOP agenda for the next election.

Oh yes, when one considers what Bush has done and what he has spent doing it, his position on this water project serves as just one of many examples that for Bush, America always comes last.

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mgb_phys
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His own party passed a ruling to allow lots of unaccountable funds to go to their own constituencies just before an election, sounds like business as usual.

Whats the quote about politicians - greate love hath no man that he will lay down his friends for his seat.

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Election day has already passed; last Tuesday.

Clean water - it's a terrible thing to fund.

phoenixy
Clean water - it's a terrible thing to fund.
Yeah sure, but if the water is black...

Hurkyl
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Oh yes, when one considers what Bush has done and what he has spent doing it, his position on this water project serves as just one of many examples that for Bush, America always comes last.
Silly question...

With the information I have, I cannot distinguish between the cases:

(1) The bill is a good one.
(2) The bill allocates too much federal money to waterway improvement.
(3) The bill allocates far more money than is needed for these projects.
(4) The bill contains excessive pork.
(5) Something else I haven't imagined.

You're obviously inclined to automatically believe (1), but is there anything handy that provides a critical analysis of the bill?

mgb_phys
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With all bills the answer is generally = all of the above

chemisttree
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But sometimes Bush has the right idea. This bill stinks.

Ingram Barge Co., a Nashville, Tenn.-based shipper, is a member of Waterways Council that has a lot to gain from a veto override. The final version of the bill contained a $10 million earmark for Army Corps of Engineers work in Nashville’s ports. While Ingram has long been agitating for federal funding of this port — its political action committee has given$130,000 to federal candidates in the past two election cycles, including $30,000 in the first six months of this year — it didn’t get its earmark in the House bill or the Senate bill. Luckily for Ingram, the conference committee inserted the earmark, drafted by Tennessee Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, who received$9,000 and $7,500, respectively, from Ingram Barge. To lobby on this bill, Waterways Council retained the Livingston Group, headed by former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana. Its lobbyists also include John Moran, a former commissioner on the Federal Maritime Commission. Other backdoor earmarks included Sen. Barbara Boxer’s$1.8 billion for flood control around the Santa Ana River. Sen. Jim DeMint, a chief Capitol Hill critic of porking, argues that even if one agrees this project is needed, and even if one agrees that taxpayers in Iowa and Maine ought to be footing the bill for the people of Orange County, one has to ask why Boxer, the chairwoman of one of the committees that produced the bill, didn’t insert her earmark earlier in the process.

Sen. Hillary Clinton won a $10 million earmark in conference committee for revitalizing the Port of Rochester, which the city is trying to turn into a tourist destination and an entertainment district. Tourism and downtown revitalization is not part of the Army Corps of Engineer’s responsibilities, but the bill was full of such projects. Congress’ ethics reform bill, passed this year, was supposed to stop this sort of thing. If lawmakers were going to win earmarks, they were supposed to win them in the light of day — in committee or in the full House or Senate — where their special projects could be debated and voted on one at a time. But Ingram Barge’s$10 million earmark, like Boxer’s \$1.8 billion one, were inserted in conference committee and not subject to either amendment or scrutiny. The porkers got their way because WRDA is an authorization bill, while the ethics legislation only impacted appropriations measures.
http://www.examiner.com/a-998112~Timothy_P__Carney__Congress_porks_up_waterways_bill.html

Astronuc
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