WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Wednesday to divert some of the money President Bush requested for the war in Iraq to instead increase security on the nation's borders and provide the Coast Guard with new boats and helicopters. [Divert from Iraq you spineless cowards? -Atlas]
Senators also ignored a White House veto threat and overwhelmingly voted against cutting a $106.5 billion measure funding Iraq, further hurricane relief for the Gulf Coast — and a slew of add-ons opposed by fiscal conservatives and Bush. [Huh? These mental patients are out of control. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean? Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516, 528. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1, 329,787. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012. Yo! D.C. ! Are all your calculators broken???? Maybe everyone should just flood their houses; then we can all be on the "big easy" street for the rest of our lives, and forget about
slaveryworking, and paying taxes and all that useless stuff - Atlas]
Among those add-ons is a $700 million project to relocate a rail line along the Mississippi coast so the state can build a new east-west highway to spur economic development and ease transportation woes. [Holy Mississippi Mackeral! - Atlas] Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., moved Wednesday to strike the project, saying it doesn't belong in the emergency war funding bill, though he's not confident of his chances. [He's not? I think I am going to vomit - Atlas]
On border security, the Senate voted 59-39 for a plan to cut Bush's Iraq request by $1.9 billion to pay for new aircraft, patrol boats and other vehicles, as well as border checkpoints and a fence along the Mexico border crossing near San Diego.
While the border security funds had broad support, Democrats and Republicans argued over whether the cuts to Pentagon war spending would harm troops in Iraq. The cuts, offered by Judd Gregg, R-N.H., would trim Bush's request for the war by almost 3 percent but don't specify how. [I am sure his kid is not out there risking his life. Might not cut Iraq $ so fast if he was - Atlas]
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said Gregg's cuts would "take money from troop pay, body armor and even the joint improvised explosive device defeat fund. Now that is a false choice and it is a wrong choice." [Hil is sounding coherent -oyish. This is frightening - Atlas]
Gregg argued that the cuts eventually would come from other parts of the massive Pentagon budget rather than U.S. forces in Iraq.[How does he know?]
"To come down here and allege that these funds are going to come out of the needs of the people on the front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan is pure poppycock," he said. [Did he say that?Did he say poppycock? Pure?-Bolderdash! - Atlas]
An amendment by Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to add the border security funds but not tap the Pentagon for them failed by a 54-44 vote.
The Senate voted by a veto-proof 72-26 margin to kill an attempt by conservatives to cut the overall bill back to Bush's request — just a day after the White House issued a toughly worded promise to veto the $106.5 billion bill unless it is cut back to below $95 billion. [summabitches]
Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Ill. — the key architect of the bill — is unhappy with the veto threat and easily beat back a move by Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., to kill $12 billion in add-ons, such as $4 billion in farm aid, $1.1 billion for Gulf Coast fisheries and the much-criticized Mississippi rail line relocation. [These Republicans have lost their minds]
Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby for the rail relocation project. The rail line, owned by CSX Transportation, has been rebuilt with insurance proceeds at a cost of nearly $300 million.
Bush insists that total spending in the bill be capped at his $92.2 billion request for Iraq and hurricane relief, though he is willing to accept $2.3 billion in the bill to prevent an outbreak of avian flu. [I think they need the avian flu in D.C.]
The bill is sure to be carved back in House-Senate negotiations next month, and Bush may very well not have to follow through on his veto promise.
The underlying bill contains $67.6 billion for Pentagon war operations and $27.1 billion for hurricane relief, including grants to states to build and repair housing and $2.1 billion for levees and flood control projects. The funding for hurricane relief exceeds Bush's request by $7.4 billion.