House Overrides Bush's Veto of Water Bill

Rejection is first of presidency; Senate likely to follow suit
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 9:13 PM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, talks with President Bush during the entertainment portion of a social dinner at the White House Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The House overrode a presidential veto tonight for the first time in the Bush administration, with 138 Republicans crossing party lines to support a $23 billion water-resources bill. The 361-54 vote was far more than the two-thirds needed to override, reflecting the popularity on both sides of the aisle of legislation loaded with pet projects, the Washington Post reports. The Senate is likely to pass its own override, possibly as soon as today.

The vote puts congressional Republicans in a tough spot: They'll have to defend their support of legislation the president criticized as bloated even as they tangle with Democrats over other spending bills. 'We are, in fact, the deciders on policy," Steny Hoyer said, but the vote rested on the 90 Republicans who rejected Bush's argument that the measure "lacks fiscal discipline," CNN reports.