Let’s watch the rats squirm now:
The Bush administration Tuesday threatened to veto the fiscal 2004 supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan if a Senate-approved loan provision is accepted. “If this provision is not removed, the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,” OMB Director Josh Bolten said in a letter sent Tuesday to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders.
The Senate approved the amendment, despite vigorous White House and GOP leadership lobbying, to convert $10 billion of the Iraq reconstruction funds into a loan unless other nations forgive 90 percent of Iraq’s prewar debt. GOP lawmakers and aides said the provision would likely be removed in conference, as the House bill would provide its entire $18.65 billion Iraq aid package in the form of a grant. “The House will hold firm in support of the president and, in the end, I expect the conference report will drop the loan provision,” House Appropriations Chairman C.W. (Bill) Young, R-Fla., said.
Good for Bush.