Could this be the start of the same kind of “do nothing Congress” media push for the Democratic majority that we saw for the Republicans in 2006? The September 25 article “Bush Eager for Budget Showdown” highlighted the Democrats' failure to send even a single bill to President Bush and even included a few stinging comments.
Don't worry libs, the AP still managed to subtly paint an image of uncaring Republicans thwarting the generous Democrats who just want to make life better by spending more money on domestic projects, while ignoring the legitimate reasons for opposing the bills.
The article started out with the Dems' failures (bold mine throughout):
The Oct. 1 deadline for completing the 12 annual spending bills funding next year's budgets for 15 Cabinet departments is just a week away, but the Democratic-controlled Congress has yet to send him a single bill. The last time Congress failed to clear a single spending bill by the Oct. 1 deadline occurred in 2002.
The AP then explained that Republicans are blocking the Dems' attempts to increase spending on “favored domestic programs” for areas that only Bush and the heartless “GOP faithful” would reject, such as “grants to local governments, education, homeland security, law enforcement and health research.”
Bush promised to veto the “$35 billion expansion of the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program,” [SCHIP] but the AP didn't tell the whole story.
Why omit the 61-cent tobacco tax increase required by SCHIP? No mention of the financially collapsing entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare, that were so important to the media in 2006 or the fact that this $35 million is only a starting price, either.
I guess the days of the AP worrying about the deficit ended when the Dems took Congress.
Most strikingly absent was the main reason that Bush plans to veto the expansion of this program that was supposed to cover lower-income families—the Democrats' bill now includes families that make $80,000 a year.
At the end came some tart words for the Dems:
Even though Bush has poor public approval ratings, his veto pen and the power to drive the public agenda give him great leverage over lawmakers — whose approval ratings are even lower. And he can hold Congress in session demanding concessions.
Complicating matters is the dawdling pace of the Senate, which has passed only four of the 12 appropriations bills. After completing the defense measure next week, the Senate will take a week off, a move that hasn't sat well with the House, which passed all 12 bills this summer.
Democrats lambasted Republicans last year for not getting the budget work done. Now, the tables have turned.
Surprisingly, the AP let Bush close the article with a decent kill shot:
Democrats say their differences with Bush are small compared with the overall size of the budget. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., last month termed the $22 billion gap a "very small difference."
"Only in Washington can $22 billion be called a very small difference," Bush said recently.
No mention of the words “do nothing,” but it is a start. We'll just have to see if this is the beginning of the media truly criticizing the Democratic Congress or if this was an anomaly.
Lynn is a contributor at NewsBusters and can be reached at tvisgoodforyou2 AT yahoo DOT com