The Boston Globe carries a story today headlined "Minority party eyes a boost in discipline; Democrats urged to stand firmer" which has more rumblings that the Democratic rank-and-file are dissatisfied with Tom Daschle's leadership. Excerpt:
Daschle, facing a potentially tough reelection campaign in South Dakota, has been reluctant to alienate any in-state supporters, some of whom would benefit from the energy bill. While there is no official challenger to Daschle's leadership, some in the party worry that he's been more of a manager than a leader.
Meanwhile, the liberal website "Buzzflash" carries an editorial by Senator Ted Kennedy responding to Buzzflash's editorial position that Tom Daschle should step down as the Democratic leader. Interesting excerpt:
When Congress returns in late January, Republicans will try to muscle through an obscene omnibus appropriations bill that they wrote in a backroom to reward their supporters. Among other outrages, it would end overtime pay for 8 million American workers and gut reasonable restrictions on media ownership agreed to, over White House objections, by both the House and the Senate.
Gee, I guess a bill that gives millions of dollars to South Dakota Indian tribes is "obscene." The omnibus bill contains the following items that advance Native American interests in South Dakota:
- $2,000,000 for Wakpa Sica Historical Society in Fort Pierre, South Dakota for the Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Center
- $275,000 is available for Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte, South Dakota to establish a nursing home
- $100,000 to InterTribal Bison Cooperative in Rapid City, South Dakota for member training.
- $400,000 to Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board in Rapid City, South Dakota for Northern Plains Healthy Start.
- $250,000 to Rosebud Sioux Tribe in Rosebud, South Dakota for rural ambulance service operations .
- $225,000 to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte, South Dakota for mental health services.
- $200,000 to Yankton Sioux Tribe in Marty, South Dakota for substance abuse treatment at Canku Teca.
- $200,000 to Children’s Village in Pine Ridge, South Dakota for foster care services.
- $60,000 to Kids Voting South Dakota in Pierre, SD to expand programming in tribal schools
- $3,000,000 to BIA Route 27 Reconstruction, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
- $2,250,000 to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe public buses and bus facilities, South Dakota
- $250,000 to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Public Bus System, South Dakota
Tom Daschle and his party plan to block the bill that contains these provisions when the Senate reconvenes on January 20. Particularly ripe for criticism is the fact that Tom Daschle visited the Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Center last summer as part of a reconciliation effort put forth by Governor Rounds. Now, Tom Daschle is using his clout to block the $2 million that will go to the center. Somehow, this is an obscene bill that rewards Republican supporters. Am I missing something?