Saturday, June 21, 2008

McCain Notes McCaskill's Opposition to Levee Bill

Barack Obama is criticizing John McCain for his opposition to a water resources bill, implying that McCain's failure to support the measure for new levees and flood controls is partly responsible for the Midwest flooding.

But McCain's campaign hit back Saturday, noting that Obama's national co-chair, and junior Missouri senator Claire McCaskill also opposed that 2007 legislation.

"In Attacking John McCain For Opposing The WRDA Bill, Barack Obama Is Attacking His Own National Co-Chair -- Senator Claire McCaskill -- Who Voted Against The Bill. Is She To Blame For Levees In Missouri Breaking?," blasted a release from the McCain campaign Saturday.

It is true that McCaskill voted against the passage of the Water Resources Development Act, for basically the same reason McCain did. The bill authorized $23.2 billion for 900 water projects, including $3.9 billion for a new locks and dams system for the Upper Mississippi River.

"This isn't about the projects or merits of the projects. Painfully for me, one is in Missouri. This isn't about the projects. This is about the process. This isn't about Democrats. And this isn't about is about a bad habit. This is about getting into the habit of directing authorization or spending in a conference report instead of under the bright lights of the Senate floor, the House floor or committee work," McCaskill said in a press release on Sept. 24, 2007.

At the same time, McCain said he opposed the bill because it included "outrageous spending"

"The legislation being considered today far exceeds the already outrageous spending that was approved in both the House- and Senate-passed bills and would drastically increase the backlog of Army Corps of Engineers construction projects while doing nothing to modernize the system for funding these projects. I wonder, did we learn nothing from Hurricane Katrina?," said McCain in a statement on the same day McCaskill issued her own.

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