Does Bush deserve credit for the energy bill?
Let’s review what happened with the energy bill:
- The House and Senate each voted through energy bills. The Senate’s had a CAFE boost and a Renewable Fuel Standard; the House’s had a Renewable Energy Standard and a tax package to take subsidies from oil companies and give them to renewable energy.
- Nancy Pelosi battled for months with John Dingell, finally securing his support for a CAFE increase.
- The House then passed a bill that had all the provisions in it — CAFE, RFS, RES, and tax package.
- The White House threatened a veto. Republican Senators whined.
- Reid put the bill up for a vote; it failed.
- Reid stripped out the RES but not he tax package and put it up for another vote — it failed 59-41 to overcome a filibuster threat.
- Reid stripped out the tax package and passed the bill more or less the way the Senate originally passed it: CAFE an RFS.
The White House’s sole involvement in this entire process was to send periodic threats to Nancy Pelosi, vowing to veto any bill that didn’t do exactly what the President’s idiot "20 in 10" plan does, and no more. Republicans in Congress, as they have for seven long years now, went along lockstep with his wishes.
The shape of events is not that difficult to discern: The Democrats tries to pass ambitious, historic legislation and the Republicans acted as a roadblock. Democrats pushed forward. Republicans pushed backwards, going to the mat to defend oil company tax breaks.
Given that, I ask you, who deserves "credit" for the bill?
Apparently — and I’m not kidding here — the White House says Bush deserves the credit. And of course, rather than laughing at this, mocking it, as any sane person would, the Roll Call reporter credulously passes it on, noting the "controversy" over who deserves credit.
The White House, which may hold a signing ceremony as early as Wednesday, also says that it was the president who helped shape the final package since Congress responded to a host of administration concerns. White House officials also say that Congress followed the course Bush charted in his 2007 State of the Union address, in which he called on lawmakers to reduce gasoline use by 20 percent in 10 years, in part by undertaking efforts to “modernize” the CAFE program.
Republicans say the Democratic energy plan would have hit a brick wall if it were not for an engaged White House seeking to strike a balance with the Democratic-led Congress.
"Without question, some of the credit is due," Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said of the White House. "This is the president who stood in the well of the House and said during the State of the Union that ‘America is addicted to oil and we should do something about it.’ "
"Shaped" it. Will you just kill me?
What a dyspeptic way to head into the holidays.
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