We know the trouble Bush has run into with Social Security privatization, and I just wrote about the obstacles "Clear Skies" faces. Now time to remind you of another of his domestic priorities which shows every sign of stalling before it gets anywhere. Yes, it's civil service reform again.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about the skepticism greeting the scheme from senators, including Republicans with responsibility for shepherding it through the process. (Yes, Voinovich is causing trouble again.) Now CongressDaily says Tom Davis is also putting the brakes on in the House. His northern Virginia district has about 50,000 federal employees, making any support for the president on this issue rather uncomfortable.
If the Senate does block the proposal, then Davis is off the hook with the administration. If by some chance it moves, then he will have to make a choice between his constituents and the White House. My guess is Bush will be the one left wanting. Either way, expanded civil service reform looks to be dead in the water, which is a good thing, at least in the form Bush wanted it. At the very least, the longer Davis flirts with the idea the greater the opening for Dems to challenge him in '06.
Hmm, this whole second term agenda thing doesn't seem to be going very well for Bush, does it?