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Iraq Withdrawal Debate, Part II: The Veto

President George W. Bush will be offering up his second veto ever in less than a month, if the Democratic Congress sends him an Iraq spending bill containing a deadline for troop withdrawal..

And while he would double his veto total from the previous six-plus years, Bush would remain in a historical league with pre-Civil War presidents such as Millard Fillmore and James Polk when it comes to the use of the veto power.

As Capitol Briefing noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hope to iron out the differences between their competing bills for funding the Iraq war and issuing a timeline for withdrawal and send the roughly $123 billion supplemental measure down Pennsylvania Avenue later this month.

If there was any doubt about Bush's expected plans, he tried once again to clear them up yesterday. "If either the House or Senate version of this bill comes to my desk, I will veto it. And it is also clear from the strong support for this position in both houses that the veto would be sustained," Bush said in a Rose Garden press conference.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he intends to invoke no parliamentary privileges to slow down the bill in order to speed along Bush's veto, so that the next stage of negotiations can commence quickly.

The one time Bush vetoed a bill, he showed an inclination to pull the trigger quickly rather than wait for the 10 days he is constitutionally obliged to for consideration of congressional action. On July 18, 2006, the Senate passed 63-37 a bill to expand embryonic stem cell research, following the House approval two months earlier.

The next day, July 19, Bush vetoed the measure.

Both Democratic and Republican aides expect similarly quick action from Bush this time. In fact, aides privately suggested yesterday that Pelosi and Reid would not formally send the bill to Bush -- which is known as an enrollment ceremony -- until the day after the final vote in the Senate, which is expected to let the House vote first on the supplemental.

This would ensure that the day's headlines were about Congress passing a bill including a compromise deadline for withdrawal, something in between the Senate's March 31, 2008 end line and the House's September 2008 withdrawal.

Either way, the House and Senate expect to pass the supplemental conference report April 26 or April 27, or possibly early the following week -- meaning White House staff should have the ink filled on his veto pen no later than May 1, if not a few days earlier.

According a report by the Congressional Research Service, no modern president has been so veto-averse as Bush. In office less than three years, John F. Kennedy vetoed 21 pieces of legislation. Warren Harding, in office shorter than JFK before his death, vetoed a half-dozen pieces of legislation. Fillmore is the last president to never issue a veto -- other than James Garfield, who died a few months into office in 1881.

TOMORROW: After the veto, big negotiations hit.

By Paul Kane  |  April 4, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Iraq  
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Next: Iraq Supplemental Debate: The Final Act

Comments

"Either way, the House and Senate expect to pass the supplemental conference report March 26 or March 27,...."

s/b "April..."

Posted by: dschleicher | April 4, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

One might hope that this is more than political posturing, that the Congress might have the strength of its convictions to weather the spin-storm and stick to its guns. Bush will have no choice but to approve the bill, even as he vetoes it, if he is guaranteed getting essentially the same bill back.

His marginal use of the veto is probably more due to six years of a rubberstamp congress than any real discretion on his part.

Posted by: Boyd | April 4, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY CONGRESS DOES NOT IMPEACH BUSH OUT OF OFFICE. HE CARES NOTHING ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, OR THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT ANYTHING. HE IS ON A POWER TRIP, WHICH HAS CAUSED PEOPLE TO LOOSE THEIR LIFES, AND HE DOES NOT CARE AT ALL HOW MANY SOILDERS ARE GETTING KILLED.I THINK HE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIS SELF. I SAW HIM ON TV MAKING JOKE ABOUT HIS RATEINGS, AND HE JUST MAKE STUPID JOKED, AND GAVE HIS STUPID GRIN. WHEN PEOPLE ARE GETTING KILLED AND BURYING THEIR LOVED ONES OVER A STUPID USLESS REASON, THAT IS NOT FUNNY AT ALL. I HAVE NO USE FOR HIM, NOR DO THE OTHER AMERICAN PEOPLE. HE IS A JOKE

Posted by: steve wooten | April 4, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

IMPEACHMENT, might (?) clear Bush's brain!

Posted by: tk | April 4, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Worst. President. Ever!

Support out troops. Bring them home.

Posted by: Handsome Pete | April 4, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

After reading your article it certainly sounds like someone has grown fond of living in a monarchy. Darn those dreaded democrats and darn the balance of powers. Why won't they just shut up and do as they're told?

Posted by: Lynn | April 4, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Bush leads by bulling & the republican sheep..."mindlessly" follow. LOOK SADLY WHERE IT'S LEAD US!

Posted by: tk | April 4, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Canada refused to go to war in Iraq, there was a HUGE uproar. The backlash of "How can we trust our neighbors anymore" and "Canadians are not our friends" was written everywhere. I personally lost contracts due to my American clients thinking it would look bad to give work to Canada as a result. Now that it is clear Iraq was a mistake nobody seems to remember Canada being the first in the West to think it was a bad idea.

My question is now - do you think they'll remember next time? Will the Americans take their brothers advice and avoid a catestrophe? Probably not - but it's a nice idea.

Posted by: Canadian | April 4, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Thief-in-chief has overused his power since the begining of his first time self-election.I could not belief that he is still in power. Many lives lost in the useless war, many lives destroyed and economy gone much worst since Clintons era.How long will take to rebuild America's peaple lives. Where is the american dream?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

bush should be the president and not act as if he were king.

Posted by: adam | April 4, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Bush has centainly lead us............. OUT OF THE PROMISED LAND"

Posted by: tk | April 4, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Mr Bush and Cheney, YOU NEED TO _PROVE_ YOUR LOYALTY AND PATRIOTISM TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. YOU DODGED the draft during Vietnam. Now you must PROVE your loyalty to the people of USA by divesting yourselves, your father and your clans of ALL your ASSETS and PROPERTIES, and dontate to the IRAQ WAR FUND. You must also send your LESBIAN and NON-LESBIAN daughters and GAY and NON-GAY sons, Pedophile and non-pedophile relatives to DUTY IN IRAQ OUTSIDE THE GREEN ZONE, DRIVING THE HUMVEES FOR TRANSPORTATION.

I WILL BE WATCHING YOUR ACTIONS, COZ YOUR WORDS ARE DIRT CHEAP.

Posted by: Statue of Liberty | April 4, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

UNFORTUNATELY, bush's MIND CONTROL OF THE MASSES continues

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"PRAISE for those with the courage to challenge bush. Amen"

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Am I at the right place... Is this where people blow steam about Mr. Bush.

Oh ok then..

Mr. Bush (hate to call you president), should be ashamed of yourself. You led the greatest nation of the world towards nothing but despair, hatred and tonnes of dept. The same people who loves you, now hates you. You brought America to its knees. You massacerd more of your own soldiers than the 911 incident did to your people. Utterly disgusting.

Bring your soldiers back, save their lives and contribute your personal assets towards bringing down the debt of the country.

Posted by: Tauseef | April 4, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Needless" war HURTS. iT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

This administration is bankrupting the American people (not to be confused with corporate America). The only question is whether this is the result of a deliberate act or terminal stupidity?

Posted by: DEF | April 4, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Could you take into consideration that Bush has faced a friendly House and Senate for the first six years? How about the other presidents?

Posted by: DH | April 4, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse


Yes, Bush should be and should have been IMPEACHED as soon as we found out about the unreal reasons for this war. But we do not want Cheney stepping in to fill the shoes of President. I would love to see Bush, Cheney, and Rove all shipped to Iraq.. after we get our soldiers home. I hope someday investigations will prove the real reasons for this war... kick-back contracts and hidden bank accounts... future wealth for a few oil cronies. Is Bush a villain or visionary? He is a PUPPET!

If we elect a woman president... Go Pelosi! what courage she practices with her actions.. not all talk!

Posted by: Jennifer Martin | April 4, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Mr. bush had important role in planning of greatest conspiracy that neocons of Washington could master ever , but they put him in
Action . Why ?
They needed cowboy that he is and they needed as dumb as he is.
He will do what they ask him to do .
I can not hate him for what he is , I really fill sorry for him . the masters that gave him the first role, I really fill sorry for them too . They made the biggest game ever and They put bush to execute
It , I bet if the Iranian mullahs had their resources , could do it much better . I have no love for Iranian government and mullahs of Iran but I strongly suggest ( considering every thing that they are )
They are more human than neocons of America.

h.a Tehran

Posted by: H . k Tehran | April 4, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember how the media hopped on the bandwagon to war. How we watched as "journalist" described the lethality of our weapons and the excitement in the prelude to war. People are stupid and they are stupider in groups.
THINK AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
If this administration says something, ask yourself, WHAT ARE THEY REALLY TRYING TO SELL ME ON. Bush and his religious thugs couldn't tell the truth if our sons and daughters lives were depending upon it!!!!!!!!!!!
They just sneak the bodies of dead service men and woman back home under the cover of night...........How disrespectful to our fallen american brothers and sisters.
That is the true charactor
of George W. Bush
The War President.

Posted by: Ray K | April 4, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

In 2000, 191 countries signed an agreement known as the Millennium Goals, the first of which is to eliminate global poverty by 2025. I hope that our representatives will uphold this promise made by global leaders.

Posted by: marie2 | April 4, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The Bush reign has exposed how susceptible our democracy is to monied interests. Clearly the Iraq debacle is enriching the military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned us. The billions being spent are the taxpayers money and the taxpayers need to have the board of directors show us what our investment has yield in dollars and cents. I am so glad to see the democratic party standing up to the Bush war machine and saying "The American public has spoken. Stop the War now!"

Posted by: jleon | April 4, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

According to the Borgen Project, $340 billion has already been spent on the war. I think there are better ways to spend that money--say by eliminating global poverty or proving education to children as part of the UN Millennium Development Goals--to actually get to the roots of terror and spend the federal budget wisely. If Bush wants to end terror he needs to a different approach bc obviously, war does not work.

Posted by: Susan | April 4, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, Kane. I like it.

It seems like the smart thing for Congress to be doing right now is hitting the talk shows and winning the PR battle over who, Congress or the President, is responsible for delaying funding for the troops. Honestly, I'm worried that Bush has the upper hand in this battle. With Obama's recent remarks about how the next version would definitely not have a timetable, I fear that Dems are starting to split on this.

Posted by: Stephen Larson | April 4, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Bush has 'vetoed' bills by administrative order, and the writing of presidential variations on the bills that have been approved. Seldom has a bill come to his desk that he has not modified by the tool of administrative exception (I forget the exact name of the procedure), which he has used more than any president in history.

Posted by: pbrady | April 4, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

While George Bush made a terrible mistake in trying to turn a totalitarian state into a democratic state, a withdrawal would mean the collapse of Iraq and lead to a potentially dangerous situation of the middle-east versus the west. The Iraq war was a terrible idea built on falsehoods. But a withdrawal without Iraq being able to stabilize itself is a selfish American idea to save themselves. What about the Iraqi people? Do you not care about what happens to them? George Bush is at least smart enough to see that he cannot do that in a civilized world (even though he created the situation he realizes he must finish what he started to stabilize the region). The war must continue for the Iraqi people to have a chance at a stable future. And bringing them home early is just America deserting a people more needy than themselves. Americans are dying, yes, but Iraqi's are dying 100 times greater the quantity.

Posted by: Canadian Chris | April 4, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who lives in a state with an elected Republican senator needs to email, phone, write, inundate him/her with whatever it takes to have them vote and override Bush's veto. Get on it! Apply pressure to your Republican senators NOW!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 4:19 AM | Report abuse

The bill reflects what the people of America stated by electing more Democrats to congress, we want the war to end. The Iraqis asked us to leave a long time ago, but Bush said just a little while back that if they asked us to leave we would. It's time for our young people -- who mostly volunteered to go after 911 terrorists not Iraqi oil -- be taken out of that nightmare. These should be the best years of their lives.

Posted by: mugg9j | April 5, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As Susan stated, perhaps we should approach this situation from a different angle and focus on the root of the problem. Over $300 billion has gone towards Iraq and countless lives have been lost and yet we are still far from any sort of resolution. I think a new strategy is in order.

Posted by: Mya | April 6, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats may also weigh the possible political fallout if they defund the war abruptly against the fallout for impeaching the President. This President would never defund this war ever because the Iraquis will renationalize their oil the minute our military presence is removed. Knowing that, the alternative is to defund the war entirely now and take a possible political hit now or let it drag on forever and into a new Presidency along with the political consequences that follow. Americans voted George H out in spite of his great victory in Desert Storm. If They don't remember great military victories very long, then they probably will forgive proud peacemakers even sooner especially if the price at the pump plummets with our exodus from Iraq!

Posted by: Charles Bowman | April 6, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I THINK PRESIDENT BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE MAN
BEACAUSE OF THIS REASON HE IS GOING TO VETO
THE CONGRESS BILL.
I THINK HE IS ON RIGHT DECISION.

Posted by: payam gholbeigi | April 9, 2007 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Iraq will never be stable as long as we are over there,they want us out,they know that Bush and Cheney is doing this just for the oil,no matter who has to die,liberating Iraq was just a lie.I think they should be tried for war crimes.He's killed more innocent people than Saddam ever did.

Posted by: maryelizabeth_61@hotmail.com | April 9, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So how many soilders were killed

Posted by: Fransico | April 11, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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