Highway bill could be first to face Bush veto pen
The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a multi-year surface transportation spending bill worth $318 billion over six years, setting up a showdown with President Bush, who has threatened to veto the measure. The vote was 76 to 21.
The Bush administration is sticking to its $256 billion highway and transit proposal, saying the country must hold the line on spending.
In an editorial last week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer criticized the administration’s handling of the issue.
“The money this program spends is not a raid on the treasury — as say, Bush’s farm bill was, or the Medicare 'reforms' will be. It comes from federal taxes already collected at the gas pump. It rightfully and by law is to be spent for surface transportation needs.” The $256 billion proposed by the administration “comes up way, way short of what drivers already have paid for and what the nation needs,” the paper said.