The White House and Congressional leadership are arguing over when to sign the Border Fence Bill. Leadership in Congress wants a signing with much fanfare, close to the election, while the White House wants a quiet event that won't grab as much attention:
"It's a timing issue: We want it signed closer to the election when folks are paying attention and those who want to take advantage of the messaging opportunity can do so, and the White House is aware of this," said an aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican. House Republican leadership aides confirmed that strategy.
Mr. Bush has already signed a spending bill with money for some fencing, but has yet to sign the bill actually authorizing the double-wall fence along nearly 700 miles of the border. Congress passed both bills in the waning days of the legislative session last month.
Many blogs from across the political spectrum have speculated he is trying to scuttle the bill with a pocket veto, but Mr. Bush has said he will sign it, though in private, without a signing ceremony.
Congressional Republicans said that is a bad move at a critical political time.
"A public signing ceremony with the maximum amount of fanfare in a high-profile place would be the best thing the president could do to help out Republicans who are having trouble in their re-elections," said Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, adding that such a ceremony would go a long way to counteract cynicism from voters who question the White House's commitment to border security.
So the President wants a quiet ceremony without much fanfare. Sounds almost like the way Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, huh? Where have I heard that before?
I wonder if it causes physical damage to pat oneself on the back...
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