July 28, 2009

THEY JUST WANT THEIR BELLIES SCRATCHED:

Blue Dogs: All Bark, No Bite: The Democrats’ self-styled fiscal conservatives don’t have a voting record to match their rhetoric. (MERRILL MATTHEWS, 7/27/09, WSJ)

So far this year, the House has seen at least four major spending bills. Here’s how the Blue Dogs voted:

• The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Schip). One of the first things the Democratic leadership wanted the newly inaugurated President Obama to sign was a huge expansion of Schip. Democrats have been trying to pass the expansion for over a year, with some bipartisan support. President George W. Bush vetoed the legislation twice, and Congress sustained his veto both times by a hair.

Schip was created for low-income uninsured children not eligible for Medicaid. Under the old bill, children whose family incomes were 200% of the federal poverty level were covered. With the new bill, Democrats increased funding to cover children whose family incomes are up to 300% of the federal poverty level—or $66,000 a year for a family of four. The Bush administration and most conservatives thought it should remain at 200%. Did the Blue Dogs agree? Only two voted against the expansion.

• The $787 billion stimulus. The next major spending package was Mr. Obama’s stimulus bill. Not one House Republican voted for the bill. The Blue Dogs? Only 10 of 52 voted against it.

• President Obama’s 2010 federal budget. In April, Congress took a vote on the president’s $3.5 trillion budget for 2010—by far the biggest spending package in history. Again, not one House Republican voted for the bill, but only 14 Blue Dogs joined them in opposition.

• The cap-and-trade energy tax. In June, the House took an enormous step by pushing through the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax. The legislation will stifle economic growth by imposing huge new costs on every business and each American household. Eight House Republicans voted for the bill. Twenty-nine Blue Dogs voted against the legislation.


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2009 6:12 AM
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