Friday, December 28, 2007

Damage control

With all the conflict overseas, much of it involving the United States, it's easy to forget that President Bush still runs this country, whether we like it or not. That point was driven home today when Bush said he would not sign the $696 billion defense spending bill because he objected to a minor provision that permits Americans injured during Saddam Hussein's reign to sue Iraq in U.S. courts. Because Congress is not technically in session, Bush's action amounts to a pocket veto that cannot be overridden by Congress. Members of Congress complained after the pocket veto that Bush had not indicated that the entire bill was threatened because of the Iraq provision; the White House said it had complained for weeks about the provision, which could have led to a court-ordered freeze of Iraqi government assets in U.S. banks. The bill also would have raised soldiers' pay by an additional .5 percent, improved veterans benefits and tightened oversight of contractors and weapons programs.

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