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Veto values

Two records survived last week when the House failed to override President Bush's veto of the family leave bill. As the president maintained his perfect string of 35 vetoes, he also left intact his disturbing reputation for blocking legislation that values people and their pocketbooks.

Family leave is only the latest example of such disregard. In a late-night move to avoid the glare of campaign cameras, Bush vetoed the bill that would have granted employees unpaid time off from their jobs to care for new children or family members with extended illnesses. The Senate overrode the veto, the president's second rejection of the measure in two years.

A sampling of other vetoes over the course of his presidency makes a statement about Bush's values:

He opposed an extension of unemployment benefits meant to offer those without jobs a better chance at weathering the recession.

He rejected a bill intended to repair damages the Supreme Court inflicted upon civil rights' protections for minorities and women.

He objected to a measure that would have allowed Chinese students to remain in the United States after their visas expired in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

He killed an appropriations bill that would have provided funds to a United Nations family planning agency.

He thwarted increasing the $3.35 minimum wage to $4.55, calling the amount excessive and a danger to the creation of new jobs.

Voters will be weighing Bush's values against their own in this election.

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