Clinton To Use Line-Item Veto On Military Projects
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Oct. 6) -- President Bill Clinton will take up his line-item veto pen today and strike some 38 projects totaling $287 million from a military construction appropriations bill.
Clinton is set to axe the items at 1:30 p.m. EDT in the Oval Office, only the second time the line-item veto power has been used at the federal level.
"These were difficult decisions because some of the projects were certainly worthy but they don't meet the criteria," spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters. Projects were candidates for vetoes, McCurry explained, if 1) they weren't included in Clinton's budget request; 2) if the design work was incomplete; or 3) if the project did not offer a "substantial contribution" to U.S. troops.
The list of projects had been pared down from more than 200 items originally identified by the White House staff as possible veto targets.
Historically, the military construction bill has been used by lawmakers to finance so-called "pork barrel" appropriations for projects in their home districts.
"I do think that on Monday we will have a blow to the status quo in this country," said Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel said on "Fox News Sunday."
The bill under review -- the first of 13 major appropriations bills that will come to the president's desk this budget year -- funded all of the priority military construction projects requested by the Clinton Administration. In addition, lawmakers attached a laundry list of projects costing about $1 billion.
A two-thirds vote of Congress is required to override Clinton's vetoes. McCurry denied politics had anything to do with the projects singled out.
Clinton first used the power in August to strike three provisions from a budget bill. Though Republicans made passage of the line-item veto part of their 1994 Contract With America, some GOP lawmakers reacted angrily when the president first used the new presidential power.
CNN's John King contributed to this report.
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