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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Senate passes health funds that Bush opposes

Here we go again with the spending in Congress. This Reuters article justifies the increased spending by saying that the Republican Congress spent too much too. This bill is for 9 billion dollars more than the President wanted. The spending includes money for research of things like cancer treatment. This is the problem with the pharmaceutical companies complaining that if we restrict how much money they can charge for prescription medications that they create, they won't have the money for research and development of new drugs. Much of the money for research and development comes from bills such as these. Once they develop the drugs, they then work in concert with the FDA for approval and the patent then ensures them years of a monopoly on a drug that was paid for by tax dollars.

I am not coming down either way on this issue because I do not know the details. Congress needs to start cutting spending somewhere (outside of defense). The only detail that really matters is that the President, who has not shown much problem with overspending himself, is not spending enough money according to the Congress. A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, NINE billion dollars later and soon you'll be talking about real money. Anyway, it is veto proof likely because Congress wants to get something done to show for their work.

Congress does not want to give the president a blank check, but Congress wants the President to give them one it seems. This is for a $606 billion dollar program of which $152 BILLION is pork above what the entitlement programs require. It's your money. Enjoy the article.

By Richard Cowan

- The Senate on Tuesday ignored a veto threat and easily passed legislation that would spend more than President George W. Bush wants this year for social programs including health care, education and job training.

By a veto-proof margin of 75-19, the Senate passed the bill that would cost $606 billion in the fiscal year that started Oct 1. Of that total, $152 billion funds programs that Congress tinkers with each year.

The rest of the money largely pays for federal retirement and health-care programs for the poor and elderly that the government is obligated to pay, unless lawmakers take on the difficult and unpopular task of reforming them.

Last week, the White House complained the bill topped Bush's February funding request by about $9 billion.

"I really can't believe the president wants us to cut funding for cancer research; cut children from the rolls of Head Start (preschool program for children from low-income families)," said Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, who steered the bill through the Senate.

Continue the article here.

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