Obama’s Veto Logic

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Last week Obama got Congress to give up the F-22 by threatening to veto the defense budget bill. This week, he’s pushing for even more cuts. He’s threatened to nix the bill if it contains money for the presidential helicopter—a program Gates tried to cancel but which the House revived—or a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet.

This is an encouraging but puzzling move. In dealing with Congress, Obama has employed a distinctive strategy, especially as witnessed in the cap and trade and health care debates. In both cases, Obama has been prepared to keep all options on the table and let Congress take the lead in writing legislation. Predictably, this has resulted in some very disappointing bills. So what’s the difference here? If he can play hardball with John Murtha, why not with Max Baucus?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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