Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, is preparing for another veto fight as he brings an education and health funding bill forward. Harkin says he hopes for strong bipartisan support in the Senate, "that’s when the battle will be joined. This will be the first 2008 appropriations bill to go to the president, and he’s already pledged to veto the bill, as it contains 11 billion dollars in funding about what he’s requested."
Harkin thinks this bill will garner support because he says the Republican President didn’t veto a single spending bill when the Republicans controlled Congress. "Think about it this way, the president is demanding that we continue spending 12 billion a month on his war in Iraq," Harkin says, "yet he is threatening to veto this appropriations bill because it spends an additional 11 billion dollars over a full year. So, this veto fight is going to be a test of priorities."
While it’s uncertain whether there will be enough votes in the House to override the president’s veto on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Harkin thinks his bill may have the override support. Harkin says he’s cautiously optimistic, because the bill has "what many Congressmen and Senators want." Harkin says the bill could go to the president by the middle of the month.