Weygand/Licht and 1997 Balanced Budget Vote (posted April 9, 2000)

It is interesting to see Congressman Patrick Kennedy and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Licht attack fellow Democrat Robert Weygand for his vote in favor of the 1997 Balanced Budget legislation.

According to Providence Journal columnist M. Charles Bakst, Kennedy explains his support of Licht by saying "he is philosophically more in tune with Licht." One of the examples he gives of this philosophic incompatibility with Weygand is Weygand's vote in favor of the balanced budget bill that cut federal spending on Medicare, a bill that Kennedy himself opposed.

Kennedy's rationale as well as that of Licht's is ironic because not only did Senator Jack Reed vote the same way Weygand did in support of the balanced budget bill, so did Patrick's father, Senator Ted Kennedy. In my forthcoming biography, Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power, I point out that Ted Kennedy voted for the balanced budget agreement and joined cheering legislators on the south lawn of the White House when President Clinton signed the bill. Afterwards, Ted Kennedy told reporters, "Today we celebrate an unprecedented achievement for America's working families and their children."