Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

1,889 days and no vetoes: Bush gaining on Jefferson

Expand Messages
  • Greg Cannon
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2006

      1,889 days and no vetoes: Bush gaining on Jefferson

      By Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY Thu Mar 23, 7:02 AM ET

      President Bush Thursday becomes the longest-sitting
      president since Thomas Jefferson not to exercise his
      veto, surpassing James Monroe.

      Monroe was in office 1,888 days before he vetoed his
      first bill on May 4, 1822, a measure to impose a toll
      on the first federal highway. Jefferson never
      exercised his veto during two terms in 1801-09.

      Thursday is Bush's 1,889th day in office, and no veto
      is in sight. As of Wednesday, Congress had sent him
      1,091 bills. He signed them all.

      Bush came close to a veto last month when Congress
      threatened to block a deal to turn over operations at
      ports in six states to a company owned by the Arab
      emirate of Dubai. He threatened a veto, but he avoided
      a showdown when the Dubai company decided to sell that
      part of its business to American interests.

      "After that, we're not likely to hear a veto threat
      from him that much again," says G. Calvin Mackenzie,
      government professor at Maine's Colby College.

      Some analysts say Bush's failure to use his veto shows
      an unwillingness to confront fellow Republicans who
      control Congress. "He doesn't want to fight battles
      unnecessarily and create a distance between himself
      and his party," says Mark Rozell, a George Mason
      University political scientist who has studied
      presidential vetoes.

      Others say Bush's avoidance of the veto is a sign of
      strength. "Bush and his party are so close on most
      issues that there's no need to veto," Mackenzie says.

      Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill.,
      scoffs at that: "This is a rubber-stamp Congress. Why
      would he veto anything?"

      Still others say it is a matter of Bush's management
      style. "He's a CEO kind of guy. He gives his orders,
      delegates the negotiating to others and is willing to
      live with the outcome," says Robert McClure, a
      political scientist at Syracuse University's Maxwell

      Bush has used veto threats to shape bills more to his
      liking. For example, the House wanted $370 billion for
      last year's highway bill; the Senate, $318 billion.
      Bush drew the line at $256 billion, then compromised
      at $286.4 billion, more than he wanted but far below
      the House and Senate levels.

      Bush said Tuesday that the veto threat has helped him
      reduce the rate of domestic spending: "One reason why
      I haven't vetoed any appropriation bills is because
      they met the benchmarks we've set."
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.