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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Nancy Pelosi Calls the President's Bluff

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According to the AP, Nancy Pelosi had this to say regarding her belief that Bush will now sign off on the proposed housing bills making their way out of the House and Senate:

The House plans a vote next Wednesday on a housing bill expected to include the help for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Bush has threatened a veto unless there are changes, but now is pressing to add the mortgage rescue as part of a broad compromise.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she did not believe Bush would follow through on the veto even though Democrats plan to attach $3.9 billion in grants he opposes to buy and fix up foreclosed properties in areas hit hardest by the housing crisis.

“Let me get this straight. The president is asking us to do something quite significant to address this housing crisis, which has long been neglected by his administration, and he is going to resent the ability of state and local governments to buy up these properties?” Pelosi said. “I don’t think the president is going to veto this bill. I don’t think so.”

And now President Bush has to deal with members of his own party as Republicans for the second time in a week have said no to the President:

1. When they joined Democrats in an overwhelming same-day override of a Medicare bill that Bush vetoed.

2. When many Republicans yesterday voiced opposition and resistance towards Bush’s new take on the housing bill (endorsing it; his prior stance was against it), saying that they, “would not go in approving government intervention in the economy [which was the problem to begin with, as the government had little oversight of the lending industry, allowing for the subprime boom and bust],” (Los Angeles Times, 7/17/08).

This Republican rebelion reflects a long-standing strain between the party’s conservative and moderate members, particularly on the issue of foreclosure relief and the housing bill, and also shows the problems Bush will face over the next 180 days as a lame duck president with abysmal approval ratings.