Bush to veto farm bill, despite the futility

posted at 2:00 pm on May 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

How badly have Republican fortunes foundered? George Bush will try to teach the GOP in Congress on fiscal discipline today with a veto of the bloated farm bill passed last week. Unfortunately, no one expects the veto to hold:

The White House said Wednesday that President Bush will veto the recently passed farm bill sometime during the day, but conceded that the overwhelming vote count means a veto override is “likely.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino could not say for sure when the veto would come, adding that the president would continue to work with members of Congress to try to sustain his move.

That said, Perino acknowledged that the large margins by which the bill passed indicate the veto will not hold.

Only 15 Senators voted against this bill, and 106 Representatives followed suit. That won’t be nearly enough to prevent a veto override for the package of subsidies and pork that commanded the approval of the majority of Republicans in both chambers. Meanwhile, the package looks even worse than it did before it got sent to the White House:

A major new program in the recently enacted farm bill could increase taxpayer-financed payments to farmers by billions of dollars if high commodity prices decline to more typical levels, administration and congressional budget officials said yesterday.

The potential costs came to light as administration officials pored over details of the 673-page, $307 billion legislation. President Bush has promised to veto the measure, which he called “bloated.” The House and Senate passed the bill by bipartisan margins large enough to override him unless dozens of lawmakers switch sides. …

But fellow Republican Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), a strong critic of the new farm bill, accused House and Senate negotiators of “unbelievable gall.”

“I don’t think any of us had a clue this was in there. It was simply dropped into the conference report,” he said.

What a shock! This is what usually happens when Republicans and Democrats work in a bipartisan fashion on spending bills. They cut themselves hefty slices of pork, stick it to the taxpayer, and insert it into legislation in the most cowardly fashion possible.

Meanwhile, Tom Cole and John Boehner are set to announce yet another plan to save the GOP from itself:

After a week of tension and recriminations following a special election loss in Mississippi, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and NRCC Chairman Tom Cole will unveil a series of changes Wednesday aimed at quelling criticism and positioning their party for November’s elections.

Cole is expected to add veteran Republican political operative Ed Brookover to his staff as a consultant and liaison with lawmakers, GOP insiders said. Brookover, who served as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s executive director from 1995 to 1999, has close ties to Boehner, Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida, according to one GOP aide. …

The moves represent a modest détente between Cole and Boehner, but they might not be enough to mollify a restive party rife with fears that November 2008 will be a replay of November 2006.

At this rate, a replay of 2006 might be the best they can muster. Want a plan that convinces Americans that you understand the lesson of 2006? Start by upholding the veto on this bloated cheeseburger of a farm bill. When George Bush tells you that you’re overspending, it’s like W. C. Fields taking your car keys at a party.


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Hey, highhopes, you called me out and called me a coward or some such. And wanted issues on which a conservative could support McCain.

I responded and gave you a whole list. But is supporting school choice and opposing the government monopoly on education suddenly not kosher with conservatives?

Privatization of Social Security not cool any more?

Recognizing that radical Islamic terrorists are more of a threat to us than bad subprime mortgages is a bad thing?

I provided concrete answers to your supposed wish for information. I knew it wasn’t sincere, but figured I’d respond just for fun.

funky chicken on May 22, 2008 at 12:30 AM

Still have to send in my very special surveys where they ask questions they already know the answers to. Gonna tell them a Ronald Reagan write-in is better than anything they have to offer (One Party rule by imbeciles and sociopaths). Thanks for nothing: ethanol scam, global warming scam, banning light bulbs, Amnesty scam, grovelling to the Saudis embarrassment, open borders, Haditha Marines persecution, Ramos and Compean persecution, bankrupting the nation…

Feedie on May 22, 2008 at 12:53 AM

GW 7+ yrs ago said that would be the last farm bill….advised farmers to get prepared….standing by his word, or trying to

Am. Spectator has a good article:http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13252

As a Ag Prod. Engineer (farmer), this bill is just more Dem. Pork thrown at us. I have stated on several Ag Blogs that we should be the 1st group to say no thanks…..maybe could start a trend.

that being said…..of this bill, farm pymts account for approx 17% of total, Food stamps, school food etc accnt for 67% and conservation programs/pork for remainder….so dont throw the farmers out the window just yet…..

its called a “farm bill” but that is like says just cause McCain in GOP he is consevative…..2 diff. animals….

Same thing with Ethanol….does not deserve the bad press the Grocery Manf. Group paying for……has replaced the equiv. of 3 oil refinery’s, employed 170k people, only accts for mabye 25% of food price increase,

I’d say keep ethanol program, phase out the govt subsidies and take away the this bloated farm bill…….

Sure, the weather disaster provisions are nice, but hey every business has a risk level….build it into your finanicials……

Its just like govt help for college tuition…whatever govt tries to do to help the Univ. System sponges up in increase costs……farmers do the same for any money pumped at them in this type of farm bill……land rents and land prices, inputs have went thru the roof…..profit level volitile.

Dem’s and media appear trying to use money to split support from GOP in the red states….now that is a new idea from them…….

sbark on May 22, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Might we all wish that Mr. Bush had found his veto pen somewhat earlier than last year?

Bravo, President Bush. Remember the Alamo!

philwynk on May 22, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Let’s not call this the “Farm Bill”.
Let’s call it what it truly is:

BILL TITLE: Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act

Take note that “Bioenergy” is a big push of the Global Warming Zealots. Meanwhile, the bioenergy push is causing more harm than good to humanity worldwide.

Those myth-believing zealots are trying to destroy this country while appearing “moral” as they do so.

Wake up, Neo…

P.S. I already expect those commenters who don’t believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to accuse me of being a “myth-believing zealot trying to destroy this country while appearing ‘moral’ as he does so”. So don’t go there…I’ve beaten you to the punch, and God is who He says He is.

Red Pill on May 22, 2008 at 10:02 AM

factually false. McCain has been a right bastard on wasteful spending for many years. Google Thad Cochran famous John McCain to see why some of his senate colleagues don’t care for him

McCain, Sessions, and Coburn have been the stalwarts on porkbusting too

funky chicken on May 22, 2008 at 12:27 AM

Show me the legislation then. Show me the vetoed bill, with the McCain-led alliance to make it stick. Show me the moratorium.

You say I.m factually false. Prove me wrong.

Show me.

Jimmie on May 22, 2008 at 10:25 AM

I’m glad George found his veto pen, I wish he would have used it more often.

Maxx on May 22, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Fox just reported that the veto override passed, but because of the changes sent to the pres . . well they have to start over, so net result = bill won’t be enacted

- The Cat

MirCat on May 22, 2008 at 1:27 PM

I provided concrete answers to your supposed wish for information. I knew it wasn’t sincere, but figured I’d respond just for fun.

funky chicken on May 22, 2008 at 12:30 AM

You did no such thing! Do you really want to include pathalogical liar on your resume’? It’s really simple. You couldn’t stop with some sort of stupid comment about me being wrong (and posting propoganda from N-G) Instead you made it personal by commenting that it wasn’t “unusual” for me to be wrong.

That kind of mindless and needless personal attack just goes to show that you are a person of extremely low character. It figures that you find it fun to play the cyber bully. You don’t have the ability to wage a legitimate defense of your positions.

highhopes on May 22, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Fox just reported that the veto override passed, but because of the changes sent to the pres . . well they have to start over, so net result = bill won’t be enacted

- The Cat

MirCat on May 22, 2008 at 1:27 PM

So… can we thank our overbloated bureaucracy for this suicidal bill bungle?

ricer1 on May 22, 2008 at 3:47 PM

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