Lawmakers Override Bush’s Veto for the First Time

November 15, 2007 10:18 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
$23 billion water project bill gets bipartisan support in the face of presidential resistance; Bush appears increasingly isolated, but casts himself as the defender of prudent spending.

30-Second Summary

Bush’s veto of a $23 billion dollar appropriations bill for water projects was overturned with a 79-12 vote in the Senate. The bill included provisions for funding repair projects covering matters such as locks on the Mississippi River and a levee in New Orleans.

The veto was the third of five in President Bush’s career at the White House, all of which have been applied since the Democrats took control of Congress. This is the first occasion when enough Republicans have sided with their opponents to provide the two-thirds majority necessary to override a presidential veto.

Some pundits, such as the writer of “Centrisity,” a non-partisan political blog, say that this is a clear indication that Congressional Republicans are distancing themselves from an increasingly unpopular administration. According to a Nov. 4 Gallup poll, Bush has only a 31 percent approval rating.

“Is this the beginning of a trend, as incumbent Republicans recognize their affiliation with the President this time around may be more of a hindrance than a help?” writes “Centrisity.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that the president rejected the bill because it was laden with “earmarks,” the pet projects slipped in by politicians to be fast-tracked into funding without going through the usual legislative process.

Perino said, "We understand that members of Congress are going to support the projects in their districts. This bill says we can fund every idea out there. That's not a responsible way to budget."

Headline Links: Bush veto receives bipartisan override

Background: President Bush’s vetoes

Opinion & Analysis: Bush’s popularity slips among the rank and file

Reference Materials: The process of overturning a veto

Related Links: Congress and White House at Odds over Pork Barrel Funding


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