House Democrats Defeat Spending Bill
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 43 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Legislation to fund many of the nation's health, education and social programs went down to a startling defeat in the House Thursday, led by Democrats who said cuts in the bill hurt some of America's neediest people.
The 224-209 vote against the $142.5 billion spending bill disrupted plans by Republican leaders to finish up work on this year's spending bills and cast doubt on whether they would have the votes to pass a major budget-cutting bill also on the day's agenda.
Democrats, unanimous in opposing the legislation, said it included the first cut in education funding in a decade and slashed spending for several health care programs. "It betrays our nation's values and its future," said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. "It is neither compassionate, conservative nor wise."
Republicans said they may have lost votes because this year's bill, down $1.5 billion from last year, included no special projects or earmarks for lawmakers. "You take those out and you lose the incentive," said Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who voted for the bill.
Twenty-two Republicans voted against the measure, many of them moderates who also are swing votes on the budget-cutting legislation.
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said one factor in the bill's defeat was the drop in the president's popularity and his inability to maintain unity among the GOP ranks. He also noted that the Republican Party misses the vote-gathering powers of Texas Rep. Tom DeLay — nicknamed "The Hammer" — who has stepped aside as majority leader because of legal problems, replaced by Rep. Roy BluntR-Mo. "Not every blunt instrument is a hammer," Frank said.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
God Bless America!
Posted by Carl at 11/17/2005 05:00:00 PM