Disaster Aid Without Doodads

Washington fiddled while disaster victims yearned. But the upshot may be a bit more wisdom in separating partisan goals and legislative responsibilities.

The disaster victims in 35 states, including the flood-devastated upper Midwest, were kept in suspense over $5.4 billion in aid as part of a spending bill that should never have been controversial. It became so, because Republicans thought the White House would have to go along even if they added a couple of self-serving doodads - not an unknown ploy in either party. One would bar the Census Bureau from population sampling techniques the GOP calculated could lose them a number of House seats. The other would bar government shutdown in a way Democrats say violates the spirit of the budget agreement.

President Clinton somehow found his Harry Truman side, exercising a promised veto, and Democrats spurred public outcry with an all-night anti-doodad vigil. By Thursday, senators seemed ready for aid to go ahead, and for the extra provisions to be properly considered on their own.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...