House Republicans narrowly sustained President Bushs veto of a $605.5 billion spending bill to fund HHS and the Education and Labor departments.
The 277-141 vote was uncomfortably close for Republicans, falling just two votes short of the two-thirds tally required to overturn Bushs veto. But as they did on three previous occasions, GOP leaders pressed their ranks to make sure Bush would not be embarrassed.
Some of the congressional combatants already were looking past the veto in hopes that it might prompt the White House to negotiate on that measure and 10 other bills that provide money to cabinet departments for the budget year that began Oct. 1.
The close tally demonstrated again that many of Bushs GOP allies in Congress want to spend more than the president on social programs. Taken as a group, however, Republicans aren't willing to go as far above Bushs budget as Democratsand are unwilling to hand him a loss in such a defining confrontation with Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters that when Congress returns in December from a two-week Thanksgiving recess, Democrats would send Bush a catchall spending bill combining Congress' unfinished budget workafter cutting about $11 billion from them.
Democrats have written domestic spending bills adding more than $22 billion to Bushs budget, prompting a wave of veto threats from the White House. Reid promised to cut that amount in half, saying it was a fair compromise. -- by the Associated Press
Johnson & Johnson names leaders to new divisions
Healthcare products supplier Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., will create three new divisions aimed at growing business and boosting the companys lagging sales.
Under the plan, Sherilyn McCoy, currently group chairman for J&Js Ethicon subsidiary, will become worldwide chairwoman of the new surgical-care division, which will focus on new technologies. Nicholas Valeriani, presently worldwide chairman of medical devices and diagnostics, will head the new office of strategy and growth, which will identify untapped areas of business, and Donald Casey Jr., currently group chairman of the diabetes franchise, will become worldwide chairman of the new comprehensive-care group, which will develop chronic-disease treatment portfolios. McCoy and Casey will also become members of the companys executive committee.
The new divisions will become operational Jan. 1, according to a company new release.
In an unrelated change, J&Js worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals, Joseph Scodari, will retire early next year. Christine Boon, vice chairman of the board of directors, will assume responsibility for the division, but will remain in her current position. -- by Shawn Rhea
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