What makes the bill's signing particularly shameful is how the White House is spinning the measure as one that would have cost much more had Bush not put his foot down. Huh? Consider this ridiculous quote by Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council at the White House:
"There were a number of members of Congress who wanted a $400 billion highway bill ... Because of this president, it is a $286 billion highway bill."Nice try, Hubbard. But that explanation conflicts with, um .... reality.
As the Post explains, Hubbard "defend[ed] the president's decision to accept the bill even though it was $30 billion more than Bush recommended."
But since Bush has never vetoed anything sent to his desk by the GOP-controlled Congress, Hastert, Frist and company correctly decided that Bush's veiled veto threat if the bill exceeded his cost target meant nothing.
Yes, Mr. Hubbard, I'm sure there were a number of congressmen who wanted to spend $400 billion on this highway bill. By now, seeing that Bush won't even stand true to the cost ceiling he originally set for this bill, those congressmen must be wondering if they could have gotten away with shoving even more pork projects in the bill.
(I've no doubt that numerous Dems used this bill as a vehicle for their own pork projects so this is a bill for which both parties deserve to be flogged.)