Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bad Day for Boozman

The Gallup Poll reported yesterday that 64% of Americans disapprove of the job John Boozman's hero George Bush is doing, and USAToday notes that for “the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50% say they 'strongly disapprove’ of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48%, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974.”

In Washington yesterday, Congressman Boozman joined fellow Republicans and voted against legislation providing funds for health care, education and job-training programs -- including the Veterans Affairs appropriation, funding for the cancer research center at UAMS, and $215,000 in technology funds for North Arkansas Community College -- which Bush has threatened to veto. The measure passed by a vote of 269-142.

As Boozman was voting against the bill, local residents gathered at the Fayetteville Town Center to call attention to funding cuts proposed by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Parents of children with disabilities organized the gathering in Fayetteville in part to convince Boozman, the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation who voted to sustain Bush’s veto of the children's health legislation, to change his mind and support funding for programs such as the Benton County Sunshine School in Rogers. He was not moved.

Then, word leaked out that Dick Cheney was coming to Arkansas this week to raise funds for the Republicans, of which John Boozman is the only one elected to Congress or statewide office in Arkansas. Cheney, whose approval rating is even lower than Bush's, last came to Arkansas in 2006 to raise money for Asa Hutchinson.

Boozman finally broke with Bush today and voted to override a veto of the plump pork pot of funds in the Water Resources Development Act. He doesn't mind busting the budget to build a dam for developers on Lee Creek, a state designated extraordinary resource waterway, but he'll stand fast against another nickel going to ARKids first and health care for children from low and moderate income families. What a guy.

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