Congress smacks down Bush veto on Glades money
Congress this week sent President George W. Bush the most stinging rebuke of his administration so far, as some of his most loyal partisans joined in voting to override his veto of a massive water and environment bill that directs billions of dollars toward the restoration of the Everglades as well as continued recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
The Senate voted Thursday to override the veto, 79-14, far more than the two-thirds majority needed to overturn Bush’s veto. That followed a resounding 361 to 54 vote in the U.S. House Wednesday. Together the two votes turned the $23.2-billion Water Resources Development Act into law, despite Bush’s objections to the cost.
The bill, which has been in the works for six years, directs $1.8-billion toward the Everglades restoration project, which has stumbled because of the lack of promised federal funds. Florida members of Congress -- including some Republicans who had never before bucked a Bush veto -- praised the bill’s passage as a key to getting the massive environmental reengineering project back on track.
“It took Congress six years to pass it and a misguided president one day to try to kill it,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. “Fortunately, common sense prevailed. Everglades restoration now will receive a much needed boost.”
--Wes Allison and Craig Pittman