Mccain says bush spending like drunkin sailor
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McCain Rips Congress, Bush on Spending
Nov 30, 4:51 PM (ET)
By WILLIAM C. MANN
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is throwing away astonishing amounts, "spending money like a drunken sailor," and President Bush shares the blame because he is not using his veto power, Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday.
McCain, an avid critic of spending for lawmakers' pet projects in their districts and states, said the president's reluctance to veto legislation makes it harder for congressional negotiators to kill such spending.
Opposition from McCain, R-Ariz., and others kept the Senate from passing a $390 billion bill last week that would have paid for operations of 10 of 14 government departments and scores of lesser agencies.
The legislation comes up again after the senators return from Thanksgiving recess, but it is unclear whether it will be this month or in January. Senate aides said McCain is expected to delay passage as long as possible.
"The numbers are astonishing," McCain said on "Fox News Sunday."
"Congress is now spending money like a drunken sailor," said McCain, a former Navy officer, "and I've never known a sailor, drunk or sober, with the imagination that this Congress has."
He said growth of spending had been capped at 4 percent, but it was at least 8 percent higher. He said he will continue urging Bush to veto profligate spending bills. The president has not veto a single bill since he took office.
Asked if the president bears some responsibility for what is going on, McCain said:
"Yes, because I think that the president cannot say, as he has many times, that 'I'm going to tell Congress to enforce some spending discipline' and then not veto bills."
An example, he said, is a massive energy bill, which also has been put aside until Congress reconvenes.
"The administration originally supported an energy bill that would cost about $8 billion. This one is up to $24 billion, and the administration is still saying it's one of its highest priorities," McCain said. "I don't know how you rationalize that."
"Any economist will tell you cannot have this level of debt of increasing deficits without eventually it affecting interest rates and inflation," he said. "Those are the greatest enemies of middle-income Americans and retired Americans."