Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Democrat Congress to Bail Out Big Fruit?

From Bloomberg.com:

Democrats May Add Money for Avocados, Mangoes to Iraq Measure

President George W. Bush's first spending fight with the Democratic-controlled Congress may come over the Iraq war -- and avocados and cattle and flood protection.

Lawmakers are pushing to add billions of dollars to the administration's war-funding request to meet a host of unrelated demands...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told the National Farmers Union March 2 that the Iraq spending measure will include an unspecified sum of agricultural aid...

[Senator Kent Conrad,] North Dakota Democrat, is asking for $4 billion for farmers hit by drought. California lawmakers, meanwhile, have requested $1.2 billion for avocado, mango, orange and grapefruit growers whose crops were destroyed by a January freeze.

Big Fruit should not be bailed out because they had some bad weather. That's what crop insurance is for.

Last year, the administration requested $94.5 billion in emergency funding for the war and Hurricane Katrina relief. By the time the Senate passed the measure, it had grown to $109 billion. The Bush administration threatened to veto the plan, prompting lawmakers to scale the measure back to the president's request.

A spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget hinted this year's measure might meet a similar fate.

"Using the war supplemental as a vehicle for funding non- related, add-in initiatives would only delay the process and in turn delay getting our troops in the field the resources they need,'' said spokesman Sean Kevelighan.

This is also why the President needs a line item veto.

No comments: