Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Apparently there's a fight:

WASHINGTON, April 3 — President Bush and the Senate are at an impasse over the appointment of trustees for Social Security and Medicare, crippling the panel that supervises the two programs.

This, in turn, has delayed the annual reports on the financial condition of the programs, which together account for more than one-third of all federal spending. Under federal law, the reports are supposed to be sent to Congress by April 1.

Since 2000, Social Security and Medicare have had two public trustees: John L. Palmer, former dean of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and Thomas R. Saving, an economist at Texas A&M.

Their terms have expired, and Mr. Bush has renominated them, but the Senate has taken no action. Senate leaders of both parties say they want to follow the precedent of having the public trustees serve no more than one term. But the White House said Monday that the Senate should approve the president's nominees.