They used the California fires to take advantage of the fact that lawmakers were taking care of their constituents, to pass the SCHIP bill again, without the two-thirds majority that will be needed to override his veto and he makes that clear.
The vote unfolded one week after the House failed to override Bush's earlier veto, and indicated that the changes Democrats had made failed to attract much, if any, additional support.
The 265 votes cast for the measure came up seven shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. In addition, 14 Republicans who voted to sustain Bush's original veto were absent.
He also shows how much the Democratic lawmakers have not accomplished.
Bush said Congress had "set a record they should not be proud of: October 26 is the latest date in 20 years that Congress has failed to get a single annual appropriations bill to the president's desk."
He also complained that Congress had failed to pass a permanent extension of a moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access, and that the Senate had not yet confirmed Michael Mukasey as attorney general. Further, he chided Congress for failing to approve more money for Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Senate on Thursday night approved a seven-year extension of the Internet tax moratorium; differences with a House-passed version still have to be worked out.
Bush made his comments to reporters in the Roosevelt Room a day after the House passed new legislation to expand children's health coverage. Bush vetoed an earlier version, and Republicans argued the latest bill was little changed from the earlier measure. The bill — approved with less than the two-thirds majority needed to overturn another veto — now goes to the Senate. The House vote was 265-142.
Bush said that Congress needs to "stop wasting time and get essential work done on behalf of the American people."
The fiscal year ended September 30th, 2007 and not one appropriations bill has made it to Bush's desk.
More from Bush's statement:
I returned to Washington late last night. And when I got back to the White House, I was disappointed by what Congress had been doing -- and even more disappointed by what they had not been doing. This week, the majority in the House passed a new SCHIP bill that costs more over the next five years than the one I vetoed three weeks ago. It still moves millions of American children who now have private health insurance into government-run health care. It raises taxes to pay for it. And it fails to do what needs to be done: to put poor children first.The irony here is what the Democrats are doing while not doing their job.
After I vetoed their last SCHIP bill, I designated members of my administration to work with Congress to find common ground. Congressional leaders never met with them. Instead, the House once again passed a bill that they knew would not become law. And incredibly enough, the Senate will take up the same bill next week, which wastes valuable time.
As the House was debating SCHIP, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveiled a massive tax package that raises taxes on more than a million small business owners, among others. Earlier this week, Congress sent me a fiscally irresponsible water resources bill. The House version came in at $15 billion. The Senate version came in at $14 billion. So the House and Senate compromised -- and sent me a bill that costs $23 billion. In Washington, they call that "splitting the difference."
And today Congress set a record they should not be proud of: October the 26th is the latest date in 20 years that Congress has failed to get a single annual appropriations bill to the President's desk. And that's not the only thing congressional leaders have failed to get done.
They have yet to move Judge Michael Mukasey's nomination to be Attorney General out of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- even as members complain about the lack of leadership at the Department of Justice.
They have yet to act on our emergency war funding supplemental -- even though our troops on the front lines depend on these vital funds to fight our enemies and to keep us safe at home.
This is not what congressional leaders promised when they took control of Congress earlier this year. In January, one congressional leader declared, and I quote: "No longer can we waste time here in the Capitol, while families in America struggle to get ahead." He was right. Only a few weeks left on the legislative calendar -- Congress needs to keep their promise, to stop wasting time, and get essential work done on behalf of the American people.
What are the Democrats so busy doing that they cannot get the appropriations bills finished and to the Presidents desk?
The are having meetings to discuss how to tout their accomplishments and how to "get their message out".
House Democrats are launching a major message push this week in an attempt to reverse their sagging approval ratings as Congress tackles a heavy legislative docket before the end of the year.
Late last week, the top aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called a mandatory meeting for top Democratic staff on Monday afternoon to announce "a major member-driven message campaign" the leadership aides hope to sustain through the end of the year.
This comes on the heels of a renewed drive by Pelosi herself this fall to tout Democratic achievements so far this year in the face of polling that indicates support is slipping for the new majority.
They are more worried about the poll numbers than getting our troops their funding.
Once again, proving without a doubt that they do, indeed, deserve the lowest approval numbers in the history of polling Congressional approval.
"We will discuss a major member-driven message campaign that the New Direction Congress will be carrying out in the coming weeks," the aides wrote in an e-mail.
There will also be plenty of pizza.
No worries, they might not be making sure our soldiers have bullets and armor, but they damn well are making sure their staffers have plenty of pizza.
"This could be the biggest crisis communications meeting ever assembled, but they're going to need a lot more than 800 staffers and 200 pizzas to convince the American people that the 'new direction' Congress has accomplished something in the last ten months," a Republican leadership aide said. "The only thing that has taken a new direction is Congress’ approval ratings."
Not a problem, the Democrats still have 11 perecntage points to play with. One would think their goal is to see if they can get to a 0 (zero) approval rating.
Do you think I am being too harsh on the Democratic politicians because I am a Republican blogger?
Well, ok, fair enough so lets look at what a left leaning, liberal has to say, via Comments from the Left Field:
And they are committing these flaws against the Republican party, a party, I must add, that despite being on the wrong side of the issues Americans care about the most, is STILL the party better equipped to play politics.
No single thing can make this glaring error more apparent than the damage control plan that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are intending to enact as a result of the catastrophically low polling numbers. If you think it would be to rethink their congressional strategy on how to override vetoes, get legislation passed, and start getting things done according to the will of the majority of the American people, you would be so wrong I would be forced to wonder how you even got here. Such naive thinking belongs only to people who maybe get their political information by watching the evening news once in a while.
Further, Nancy Pelosi wants to focus on the accomplishments, but the obvious question would have to be, WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS? Iraq is progressing unfettered by the voice of congressional dissent (though there are a brave few who seem to be in the early stages of doing something about it), FISA is currently worse than ever (again, Chris Dodd exemplifies the spirit of a Democrat with a backbone with his intent to filibuster the upcoming FISA vote. But even here Harry Reid is attempting to block him), and in the House we couldn’t even come up with a handful of Republicans to hop the fence to override the Bush veto.
There was a single win, as far as I’m concerned, and that was on a modest increase in the minimum wage, one that was not even close to what is needed, and had to be snuck in on a defense appropriations bill. They couldn’t even make a real fight out of it.
So stop with the message campaign, we don’t want to hear it. Don’t try and tout how great the current Congress is because it fails at every opportunity for success. Don’t try and sell to us what we know not to be true. Instead, if you want to see your poll numbers go up, drop the shenanigans, give all the Sens of the Senate and House bills a rest, and GET SOMETHING DONE!
Then, maybe, you’ll see a little movement in the polls in your favor.
That my friends is from someone that is self admittedly left leaning. Just go through his site, you will see, it cannot be called a conservative site, even by the farthest of left liberals.
Nothing is getting done and the politicians are more worried about getting their message out and their horribly low poll numbers than they are about getting anything accomplished.