Thursday, July 14, 2005

Daddy Blunt Not Prioritizing Medicare - The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who earlier predicted his panel would deal with a bill in early June, said Wednesday it may not get to it until September at the earliest. Meanwhile, the head of the Senate Finance Committee said he hoped a meeting Thursday morning might spur some action, though he was not sure it would. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., said the schedule for his Ways and Means committee bogged down because of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and other legislation. "The issue is dealing with more time-sensitive legislation first," Thomas said. Social Security "is not time-sensitive, and we are going to pass CAFTA" before Congress begins its summer recess at the end of the month. Thomas was quick to say about Social Security legislation: "There's no hang-up on contents. It's just how many days we got and how many space shuttles don't get off the ground." The House delayed its votes and curtailed some committee action Wednesday so members could attend the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which ended up being scrubbed because of an equipment problem. Rep. Roy Blunt (news, bio, voting record) of Missouri, the No. 3 Republican in the House, told reporters he doubted lawmakers would deal with the bill this month. That would delay the debate until fall, when the Senate is expected to be consumed with a Supreme Court confirmation battle. Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Tuesday he was unsure when his committee would begin work on Social Security legislation. His staff is expected to outline several ideas for the committee's Republican members during a business meeting Thursday, but two of those members have expressed doubts about Bush's proposal, which includes personal investment accounts.

A Blunt is a Blunt is a Blunt!!



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