Thursday, November 08, 2007

W's First Veto Override

From the NY Times:

Senate Overrides Bush Veto on Water Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.

The 79-14 vote included 34 Republicans who defied the president. Enactment was a foregone conclusion, but it still marked a milestone for a president who spent his first six years with a much friendlier Congress controlled by his Republican Party.

Now he confronts a more hostile, Democratic-controlled legislature, and Thursday's vote showed that most of the Republicans will defy him on spending matters dear to their political careers.

Bush's spokeswoman portrayed the issue as a divide between a budget-conscious president and a big-spending Congress.


The bill funds hundreds of Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration, that are important to local communities and their representatives. It also includes money for the hurricane-hit Gulf Coast and for Florida Everglades restoration efforts.

The House voted 361-54 to override the veto Tuesday. Both votes easily exceeded the two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to negate a presidential veto.


The bill, the first water system restoration and flood control authorization passed by Congress since 2000, would cost $11.2 billion over the next four years, and $12 billion in the 10 years after that, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Flood protection projects along the Gulf Coast, including 100-year levee protection in New Orleans, would cost about $7 billion if fully funded. The bill approves projects but does not fund them.

The bill would authorize the construction of navigation improvements for the Upper Mississippi River, at an estimated federal cost of $1.9 billion, and an ecosystem restoration project for the Upper Mississippi costing $1.7 billion.

The Indian River Lagoon project in the Florida Everglades would be funded at about $700 million.

The bill calls for an independent peer review process of all Army Corps projects costing $45 million or more, a bid to cut down on wasteful spending.

The bill also green lights several projects in Texas

Dallas Floodway, if the project is deemed feasible and environmentally sound, $298 million federal money; $161 million nonfederal money.

_Corpus Christi Ship Channel dredging, $88 million federal; $100 million nonfederal.

_Johnson Creek flood project in Arlington, $52 million federal, $28 million nonfederal.

_Gulf Intracoastal Waterway dredging, $17.3 million federal funds for area from Brazos River to Port O'Connor; $14.5 million for area from Sabine River to Corpus Christi.

_Sale of 900 acres by Army Corps of Engineers of Lake Texoma in Denison.

_Study of Onion Creek, Austin flood project.

_University of Dallas, $5 million for transboundary water resource management in the southwestern U.S. research.

Its funny time for W to start trying to appear to be a fiscal conservative. The sad part is what does it say about our leaders when the only things they can agree on are pork laden bills and giving themselves raises? Pork may be a fact of political life but I'm of the opinion that our elected leaders should only get the same percentage based cost of living increase given to those on social security. After all thats only fair, right?