The budget decision at the end of a marathon day of voting followed a separate 52-to-48 Senate vote to increase the federal debt limit by $781 billion, bringing the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion. The move left Democrats attacking President Bush and Congressional Republicans for piling up record debt in their years in power.
"It is very disturbing, and it gives me a whole lot of heartburn," said Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, who attributed the additional spending to political anxiety. "They want to go and say they are helping people, but we are not helping people when we are selling out their future."
In the House, lawmakers easily approved almost $92 billion in emergency spending, with about $68 billion going for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and $19 billion for hurricane recovery, slightly less than the White House sought.
The Senate budget bill would clear the way to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, but the outlook for that provision is uncertain given strong resistance by Republican moderates in the House and a long legislative route before final approval.
But Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who led the push for $7 billion in extra money for health and education programs, said those areas had been starved for money in recent years and could not afford to be overlooked again.
The increase in the debt limit brought the total increase during the Bush administration to $3 trillion. Democrats said the rising debt was the consequence of what they described as a reckless Republican fiscal policy centered on tax cuts for the affluent.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said Thursday that given Mr. Bush's record, "I really do believe this man will go down as the worst president this country has ever had."
Great. 68 BILLION for the war, 19 billion for botched hurricane recovery efforts, and a measly 7 billion for education spending. Priorities?
And somebody please get Bush & Co. a copy of the Constitution:
White House lawyers argued for warrantless searches after 9/11
Published: Friday March 17, 2006
According to a news magazine, White House lawyers argued for the right to conduct warrantless searches of terrorism suspects on U.S. soil after the 9/11 attacks based on the "same legal authority" as President Bush's controversial wiretapping program, RAW STORY has learned.
The U.S. News & World Report article reveals that FBI Director Robert Mueller bitterly opposed warrantless physical searches "not only because of the blowback issue but also because of the legal and constitutional questions raised."
Via Tennessee Guerilla Women.