Columnist Robert Novak has learned that the President has decided to get out his pen - the veto pen, that is. Of the 12 Appropriations bills that are being sent to the President, he plans on vetoing three-fourths of them, and has the votes to sustain the vetoes. As has been widely noted, Bush did not veto any bills from the Congress when it was controlled by Republicans, although he did threaten to do so on occaision in order to bring the spending within the White House budget parameters. The only bills expected to be signed are the ones dealing with the VA and the two dealing with the actual operations of the Federal government and Congress itself.
"It is an offensive pressed on Bush by congressional GOP leaders and by his own budget director, Rob Portman, a former member of the House Republican leadership as a congressman from Ohio. Portman believes the 2006 electoral catastrophe in his state was caused mainly by Republicans losing the mantle of fiscal responsibility. Unless it is retrieved, Ohio -- and the presidency -- will go to the Democrats in 2008. By vetoes that would slice over $20 billion in Democratic spending, Bush is seeking to transform that outlook. It will trigger an epochal political struggle in the months ahead."
It's long overdue that the administration and the Republicans in Congress started to actually walk the walk on spending. Maybe the sting of the 2006 Election losses will remind them that the voters want accountability and expect the people they elect to keep their promises.