President Bush was handed the first veto override of his two terms today as the Senate voted 79-14 to pass a $23-billion water-resources bill over his objections that it constituted "irresponsible spending." Thirty-four Republicans defied the president to vote for the bill; the House had voted 361-54 in favor two days ago.
Bush vetoed no bills during his first five years in office, and has enjoyed wide Republican support the four times he has done so. This time Republicans broke ranks: Trent Lott said the bill is an opportunity to do “something constructive," not pork-barrel spending but "good, deserved, justified projects." The measure funds hundreds of water projects around the country, including dams, sewage treatment plants and restoration of the Florida Everglades.