Congress returned from Thanksgiving break today, and President Bush greeted it with a slap.
“One of Congress’s most basic duties is to fund the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Yet only one of the 12 spending bills has made it into law. Congressional leaders are now talking about piling the remaining bills into one monster piece of legislation, which they will load up with billions of dollars in earmarks and wasteful spending. Now is not the time to burden our economy with wasteful Washington spending that will lead to higher taxes. Congressional leaders need to do their job, and pass the remaining spending bills in a fiscally responsible way. If they send me an irresponsible spending bill, I will veto it.”
Responds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francsico:
“Democrats want to work with the President, yet he continues to engage in the same tired rhetoric that does not serve the best interests of the American people.
“Democrats are hard at work on a sweeping new energy policy, tax relief for middle-class Americans, and bringing our troops home from Iraq. As always, we will accomplish our goals in a bipartisan and fiscally responsible way. The House already passed AMT legislation this year, to provide tax relief to 23 million middle-class Americans. Despite veto threats from the President and obstruction from Senate Republicans on this critical measure, we are confident that we will send legislation to the White House soon.
“Democrats are committed to giving our troops everything they need to do their jobs. House Democrats have passed a bill that provides our troops with both $50 billion in funding and a strategy to bring them home safely and soon. But it is being blocked from going to the President by his Republican allies in the Senate.
“House Democrats passed a FISA bill that, unlike the President’s proposal, protects Americans while protecting their constitutional rights. Congress will work its will and send legislation to the President soon.
“Democrats’ adherence to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending stands in stark contrast to the President’s record: turning a $5.6 trillion surplus into a $2.4 trillion deficit – the largest turnaround in our nation’s history.
“Instead of working with Democrats, the President is trying to prevent progress. Democrats will continue to take our country in a New Direction.”