Bush Veto Threats Are Mounting

Pro-Life Letter Is Latest Challenge To Congress

This week's new pro-active and pro-life letter from President Bush is the latest of several accumulating veto challenges he is laying down to the Congress. It's a marked contrast from the first six years of his Presidency, when he vetoed only one bill (an expansion of federal funding for using human embryos in stem-cell research).

Most veto threats are in response to a specific bill, but the new letter is different. Even before any abortion-related measures are considered, Bush pre-empted them by stating he will veto any effort to expand taxpayer funding of abortions or to undo protection of human embryos.

In the first four months of the new Congress, Bush has vetoed one bill, pledged to veto four others, and issued this week's pro-life letter promising to veto any inconsistent bill. The veto was of the Iraq funding bill (with troop withdrawal deadlines). The other veto promises:

r A re-veto of a second Iraq bill that would only fund America's troops for a few months

r To veto so-called "hate crimes" legislation that recently passed the House and is seen as an effort to silence ministers and others who criticize homosexuality

r To veto a House-passed bill that would give an official seat in Congress to the District of Columbia

r To veto a House-passed bill if it maintains language that would grant collective bargaining rights to the 170,000 employees of the Homeland Security Department

Talk on Capitol Hill is that the White House is developing a strategy to promise additional vetoes, mostly related to spending. The goal is to highlight the budget discipline differences between the Democrats in Congress and the Administration and the Republicans in Congress. Meantime, the Democrat majority hopes to maneuver Bush and Republicans into opposing spending measures which are popular with many voters.

ADD TWO MORE: Since this post, the Bush Administration has issued additional veto warnings--announcing that he would veto a "pure withdrawal" proposal being voted on today (with no money for American troops) and that he would veto a separate proposal to provide several billion extra dollars to America's farmers--who as a group are enjoying record levels of revenue.


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