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Bush vetoes LHHS appropriations bill Stevan Harnad 13 Nov 2007 17:16 UTC

             ** Apologies for Cross-Posting **

>>From Peter Suber's Open Access News:

>The headline says it all, but here's some detail from Jennifer Loven for
the Associated Press:

     "President Bush, escalating his budget battle with Congress, on
Tuesday vetoed a spending measure for health and education programs
prized by congressional Democrats....

     "The president's action was announced on Air Force One as Bush flew
to New Albany, Ind., on the Ohio River across from Louisville, Ky., for
a speech criticizing the Democratic-led Congress on its budget

     "In excerpts of his remarks released in advance by the White House,
Bush hammered Democrats for what he called a tax-and-spend

     "More than any other spending bill, the $606 billion education and
health measure defines the differences between Bush and majority
Democrats. The House fell three votes short of winning a veto-proof
margin as it sent the measure to Bush.

     "Rep. David Obey, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations
Committee, pounced immediately on Bush's veto.

     "'This is a bipartisan bill supported by over 50 Republicans," Obey
said. "There has been virtually no criticism of its contents. It is
clear the only reason the president vetoed this bill is pure politics."

     "Since winning re-election, Bush has sought to cut the labor, health
and education measure below the prior year level. But lawmakers have
rejected the cuts. The budget that Bush presented in February sought
almost $4 billion in cuts to this year's bill.

     "Democrats responded by adding $10 billion to Bush's request for the
2008 bill. Democrats say spending increases for domestic programs are
small compared with Bush's pending war request totaling almost $200

Comments from Peter Suber:

     * First, don't panic.  This has been expected for months and the
       fight is not over.  Here's a reminder from my November newsletter:

     * "There are two reasons not to despair if President Bush vetoes the
       LHHS appropriations bill later this month.  If Congress overrides
       the veto, then the OA mandate language will become law.  Just like
       that.  If Congress fails to override the veto, and modifies the
       LHHS appropriation instead, then the OA mandate is likely to
       survive intact."  (See the rest of the newsletter for details on
       both possibilities.)

     * Also as expected, Bush vetoed the bill for its high level of
       spending, not for its OA provision.

     * Second, it's time for US citizens to contact their Congressional
       delegations again.  This time around, contact your Representative
       in the House as well as your two Senators.  The message is:  vote
       yes on an override of the President's veto of the LHHS
       appropriations bill.  (Note that the LHHS appropriations bill
       contains much more than the provision mandating OA at the NIH.)

     * The override vote hasn't yet been scheduled.  It may come this
       week or it may be delayed until after Thanksgiving.  But it will
       come and it's not too early to contact your Congressional
       delegation.  For the contact info for your representatives (phone,
       email, fax, local offices), see CongressMerge.

     * Please spread the word!

Peter Suber, Open Access News