October 30, 2003


House, Senate move to OK $87.5B Iraqi package (AP, 10/30/03)

With the most contentious issue resolved, the House on Thursday moved to give final approval to the $87.5 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate was expected to follow suit quickly, and Congress could send the package to President Bush for his signature by Friday or possibly early next week.

House-Senate negotiators worked out the final details of the package Wednesday night, eliminating a Senate provision that would have required that half of the $18.4 billion for Iraqi reconstruction and security forces be given as loans instead of grants. [...]

The package worked out by House and Senate conferees cannot be modified. Most of the money in the package is to support U.S. military operations and both chambers passed their versions of the bill overwhelmingly: 303-125 in the House and 87-12 in the Senate.

The final version of the bill included $64.7 billion for military operations, just under the $65.1 billion Bush had sought. The $18.4 billion for reconstruction and Iraqi security was less than $20.3 billion requested. The bill would provide $1.2 billion for Afghanistan, compared with $800 million sought by Bush.

The legislative process is a wee bit complicated and can be terribly boring, but it's not all that hard to figure out and when it finally spits out laws some of them do matter. So it's a mystery why serious news outlets treated the loan provision as a major blow to the President or a victory for the Democrats when there was never any chance of its being in the final bill. On the one hand, you might assume that it was just bias, but, in the end, all they accomplished was to make it look like the President's veto threat made the opposition crumble. Perhaps that's as good as it gets for Democrats and the press these days--a temporary technical win (Jeffords party-switch, Texas Democrats hiding out, 9th Circuit stopping the recall, etc.) followed by an inevitable rout.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2003 11:21 PM

The Democrats seem to be determined replace the Cubs as America's Favorite Losers.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 30, 2003 11:59 PM

But the Cubs themselves don't seem to whine like the Donkeys do.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 31, 2003 12:57 AM

Do the Dems have a fan in the stands they can blame all their troubles on?

Posted by: AWW at October 31, 2003 8:21 AM

They won't be my "favorite" losers. They'll be my least favorite. But I'll be happy as long as they stay losers (if they retain their current ideology that is).

Posted by: NKR at October 31, 2003 9:53 AM

Whether it's a "favorite loser" or a "good loser"---show me one of these and I'll show you a loser.

And when it comes to the Dems, when the lose, that's good!

Posted by: ray at October 31, 2003 6:44 PM