Lots of us small-government types were pleasantly surprised by Dems’ willingness to keep funding for the coming year at 2006 levels, stripping out billions in pork pending earmark reform. The New York Times has, uh, a different take:
The delay was initially due to infighting among Republicans, sparked by President Bush, who gunned for a spending limit that was so low that many Republicans were unwilling to support it openly. The delay dragged on as Republican leaders refused to hold difficult votes before the midterm elections. Then, during the lame duck session, they did not even try to complete the spending bills — a crass attempt to force the new Democratic majority to expend time and energy cleaning up the mess.
By choosing to operate much of next year’s government at the 2006 level, the Democrats avoid that trap. But solving the political problem creates some practical ones. President Bush, for example, will have to step up during the year to ask for more money as needed.