Tuesday, March 07, 2006

House Republicans work to block Ports Deal

You KNOW it's bad when you own party turns against you, Dubbya...even the House Majority Leader and the Speaker!

Today, House Republicans proposed legislation that would block UAE owned Dubai Ports World from taking over operations at 22 U.S. ports, shrugging off a veto threat from President Bush.

"We believe that the U.S. should not allow a government-run company to operate American ports," said Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The legislation is esupposed to hit the House floor next week as part of a $91 billion appropriation for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and aid for Gulf States recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Way to stack, guys!

"This is a very big political problem," House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "I have seen it in my district. I have seen it every place I have been."

I'll just bet he has.

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he would attach the ports legislation to the spending bill Wednesday. It it works out that way, it would explicitly block DP World from assuming control of terminals at U.S. ports.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is one of the Bush Administartion's most loyal voices in Congress. He pledged to block the deal and introduced his own legislation Tuesday.

President Bush is reportedly livid about this defection. he's still threatening to veto any measure that would block or delay DP World's takeover.

"The president's position is unchanged," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday.

Maybe he should reconsider. I can almost guarantee the votes are here to overide any veto...and as much as I disagree with President Bush on this, the last thing I want is to see him humiliated.

This is a bad deal, and a major security risk. Whatever promises Dubbya made to his friends at the UAE, he needs to get a grip and reconsider.

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