Friday, August 03, 2007

Protect the Gulf Coast: Veto the Veto

Despite having vetoed only three other bills during his entire Presidency, George W. Bush is currently threatening to veto 9 of 12 Congressional spending bills. Apparently the man hates children's health insurance, military leave for our troops, and saving not just the Everglades, but all of the Gulf Coast.

Congress this week passed the $21 billion Water Resources Development Act. The bill would help restore the Florida Everglades and defend the Great Lakes against the encroaching Asian carp. Now, I think most of Bush's veto threats are asinine, but why mention just this particular one on a Katrina recovery blog? Because, according to the Times Picayune, the WRDA also "would authorize a 72-mile system of levees and floodwalls to shield Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes from hurricane storm surge and up to $1.9 billion for Louisiana coastal restoration projects. It would fortify New Orleans area levees to withstand a 100-year storm and authorize $100 million for hurricane protection in Jean Lafitte and lower Jefferson Parish."

The President says he will veto the bill because it costs $6 billion more than he wanted it to, and hey, nothing matters more than enforcing the double standard of cracking down on opposition party spending after letting your own party set record deficits. Maybe Shrub WANTS another hurricane to further devestate Louisiana. Maybe he ENJOYED watching thousands of people wait, hungry, sick and thirsty, on rooftops whild thousands of more developed skin disease in the toxic water. All I know is that I don't, and didn't.

Thank God the House passed the bill 381-40, a wide enough margin to overturn Shrub's veto threat. I'm not sure what the Senate vote was; the roll call section of senate.gov doesn't reflect today's action yet. But things do look good. All nine members of LA's Congressional delegation, including six Republicans, promised to vote to override the veto. A leading Senate conservative, James Inhofe (R-OK), also lambasted the veto threat, calling it "stupid," "deceitful," and "absolutely crazy." Inhofe heled right the bill as Ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He may be lousy at his job during climate change hearings, but I guess he does a good job on disaster protection.

Levees.org is asking its members to send a letter to President Bush demanding he sign, rather than veto, WRDA. Such action may fall on deaf ears, but it's what we can do, and we are always called to do at least that.

Following the storm, Bush said, "And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again." I guess he forgot to add, "just so we can let it fall once more."

(Picture Credit: Everglades, Inhofe)

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