(back-handed, ambiguous) Sort-of Good News:
Yesterday we wrote about Nancy Pelosi's refusal to allow House Resolution 267, a call for the release of the captured British sailors and marines who are being held in Iran, to be voted on by the House of Representatives. Despite pressure from Republican Congressmen, Pelosi remained adamant and the House adjourned today without considering the resolution
Unsurprising News (Madam Speaker, as you shake hands with Assad...):
Here are just a few of the projects included in HR 20 as passed by the House last week: $25 million dollars for spinach growers who suffered because of an E Coli outbreak last year; $252 million for dairy farmers, inserted into the bill by the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, David R. Obey (D-WI); $1.5 billion for "livestock assistance." Now, there may be nothing wrong with helping out our nation's agricultural industries when they have problems - though that subject is debatable and may be discussed at another time - but all of these things are earmarks. And clearly it is not a coincidence that the date certain for withdrawing the troops from Iraq was included not in a direct up-and-down vote but attached to a CR which needed to be passed quickly. The deadline set, September of 2008, is also only two months before the next Presidential and Congressional elections.
Washington... the more things change, the more they stay the same... under Democrats or Republicans. Yet, as if passing disastrous legislation in opposition to the President's foreign policy goals weren't enough, Speaker Pelosi has found the need to undermine the President's foreign policy by hand, and in person. By meeting with Syrian President Assad, she is deliberately challenging Bush's Presidential prerogative. Arguably, Senators can find good cause to conduct a limited degree of foreign policy overseas, as is their constitutional responsibility. The House of Representatives, however, can find no such justification.