Leaders of the House and Senate urged President Bush to back off his promised veto of a $605.5 billion spending bill that funds HHS and the departments of Education and Labor.
House and Senate leaders have worked on a bipartisan basis to craft legislation that is fiscally responsible while responding to the needs of American families. We urge President Bush to sign this bill into law, according to a written statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.
After a months-long struggle, the House voted 274-141 to approve the measure to fund the departments through fiscal 2008, which started Oct. 1. Earlier this week, Bush reiterated his intent to veto the package because it exceeds what he set out in his February budget.
The legislation, which will be sent to the White House in the coming week, would increase funding to the National Institutes of Health by $1 billion, bringing its fiscal 2008 allotment to $29.9 billion; fund community health centers at $2.2 billion, or $250 million more than last year; and set aside $6.4 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly $224 million more than in fiscal 2007. The House vote tally suggests that lawmakers likely would not have the votes to override a veto.
Jon Retzlaff, spokesman for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, said that his organization is urging its 80,000 members to help convince Congress to override Bushs expected veto. Were doing absolutely everything possible to make the members of Congress realize how important this bill is, he said.-- by Matthew DoBias
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