Timing is everything. It's one of the immutable laws of politics and helps explain some of Sen. Jim Inhofe's current frustration with the White House.
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has been a prime mover behind a $23 billion water projects bill that would bring $140 million to Oklahoma. In a rare outbreak of consensus this week, the bill passed the Senate 81-12 — yet is threatened with a presidential veto because it contains too many items the Bush administration considers unnecessary. Inhofe doesn't disagree but wonders why the White House is picking a fight now — one it probably will lose, given vote margins in the Senate and House — before Congress actually starts appropriating funds. The bill is authorizing legislation; without a corresponding appropriation, Inhofe notes, the bill is mostly symbolic. He told The Oklahoman's Chris Casteel that President Bush, who went his first 5 years in office without vetoing anything, should save veto threats for actual spending bills. We understand both sides of the argument.