Little Jimmy Weisemeyer comments on the farm bill to date and hits the nail on the head.
Farm bill wild cards: If President Bush vetoes many FY08 appropriations bill, this would muck up House and Senate floor debate for the farm bill and could push the end zone into 2008. Also, I am still not ruling out a presidential veto of the farm bill whenever it comes if it exceeds the spending level the White House eventually lays out, and/or if the bill doesn't provide most of the reforms reflected in the administration's farm bill language. [More, by subscription]
The farther we go into the sunset of the Bush administration the less predictable he becomes. Crimony, when your ratings are in the low thirties, what have you got to lose? The idea of Pres. Bush vetoing a generous farm bill is not unthinkable.
See, you just thought of it.
Nor would the farm bill be the only example. Consider the quiet efforts by the administration to reform food aid.
But critics say it does so in a way that benefits American shippers and food producers at the expense of thousands of people who die of hunger unnecessarily. That's because under its Food for Peace program, the U.S. buys only grain and other food produced in this country, and then ships 75 percent of that load on U.S.-flagged ships, which many say delays delivery of food aid that is needed in a hurry.
Now the Bush administration has joined those critics, quietly proposing a change to Food for Peace, the Eisenhower-era aid program that provides hunger relief overseas, a shift that the White House contends will save 50,000 lives a year. But the change faces sharp opposition in Congress and from states with influential farm and shipping interests. [More]
It could also be that the iron grip of the White House has been loosened allowing conservative administrators a chance to do something, well, conservative before hitting the consultancy road.
Makes me roll round the idea of one-only, 6-year presidential terms.