George Voinovich (R-OH) showed us that there are decent, independent Republicans in the Senate. Of course it’s not the first time.
Voinovich tried to limit Chimpy’s tax cuts for the rich two years ago and the Chimpster responded by going after him in his own state.
He owes nothing to Bush.
Mr. Bush had asked Congress for $726 billion in cuts over 10 years. The House capped new tax relief at $550 billion, while the Senate agreed to cuts of no more than $350 billion. The White House has scaled back its expectations, saying at least $550 billion is now [was] the president’s goal.
That amount, Voinovich said, would be fiscally irresponsible.
“Instead of dillying around between $350 billion and $550 billion, let’s do the $350 billion and let’s get it done,” Voinovich said in a televised interview.
During a visit last week to Ohio, Mr. Bush renewed his campaign for the bigger tax cuts. Voinovich said Mr. Bush’s trip could backfire with Ohio voters, who support the lower tax cut.
“I think the timing of it made it look bad, in terms of his trying to put some pressure on me,” Voinovich said. “I don’t believe that’s what he had in mind, but it certainly has been interpreted that way in our state.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, nailed down the crucial votes from Voinovich and Snowe before the budget’s passage by promising to hold the final tax cut compromise to $350 billion.
And can you imagine the Jesus H. Frist we know today brokering a deal like this against the directives of Dear Leader?
The deal, also backed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., infuriated House Republicans, who said they were blindsided.