In today’s Washington Post, Robert Novak writes that President Bush is ready to veto a series of Democratic appropriations bills:
Bush plans to veto the homeland security appropriations bill nearing final passage, followed by vetoes of eight more money bills sent him by the Democratic-controlled Congress.
That constitutes a veto onslaught of historic proportions from a president who did not reject a single bill during his first term. Of the 12 appropriations bills for fiscal 2008, only three will be signed by the president in the form shaped by the House. What’s more, Bush correctly claimed that he has the House votes needed to sustain these vetoes.
The Republican Party badly needs to reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility and smaller government. Vetoes are a great way to do it. Combined with the House Republicans’ recent victory on earmarks, driving down the budget with vetoes will position the party’s candidates well for the 2008 campaign.
Minnesota offers a good analogy to what is happening in Washington. Before last November, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty worked with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. November’s election swept the Democrats back into power in the House by a wide margin. The silver lining was that the Democrats’ dominance unleashed Governor Pawlenty to use the veto. Pawlenty vetoed a series of tax and spending measures, and the House Republicans, under Minority Leader Marty Seifert, stuck together unanimously to uphold every one of those vetoes. As a result, Republicans in the legislature have rallied from the despondency that followed November’s election, and the budget that was finally enacted into law was lower than any of the three budgets that were proposed at the beginning of the session by the Governor, the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats.
It would be great to see something similar at the national level.
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