Monday, March 27, 2006

Someone Just Got Fired

Here's an amusing little tale from the land of Congress - the Senate omnibus spending bill that cut such programs as Medicaid and student loans (you know, the unnecessary stuff) was not entered into the House ledger correctly. As a result, the House technically didn't pass the same bill.

The mistake was a misplaced number - a change from a 36-month limit to a 13-month limit on permanent medical equipment for Medicare recipients. Still, the law wasn't the same, and the error is significant to the tune of $2 billion.

(It would have been nice if the mistake had gone in favor of, say, student loans or Medicaid rather than Medicare. But that's another story.)

I was opposed to this bill, and would like nothing better than to see it crash and burn because the President and the Speaker weren't paying attention. I would laugh my ass off (while hoping that It seems to me that it should go back to the House, and that the efforts to keep it from doing so are just sheer laziness on the part of the Bush administration. To be sure, if it goes back for passage now, it might fail - it only passed 216-214.

I don't know how fair this is - a budget approved by both houses goes by the wayside because of a clerical error. I don't think any House members said, "well, I wasn't going to vote for this bill, but it's got a 36-month limit instead of a 13-month limit on medical equipment, so what the hell." But the rules are the rules, not that the Constitution really matters to this administration anyway.

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