NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - President George W. Bush this morning vetoed a spending bill that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by around four percent over the administration's request for NIH in its budget proposal, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters today.
The appropriations bill would have raised the 2008 NIH budget to $30 billion from the $28.7 billion the White House requested. The NIH budget in fiscal 2007 was $28.5 billion.
The president made good on his word to veto HR 3043, an appropriations bill that funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Perino said, because it contains some spending that the White House deems “unnecessary.”
Perino said the bill is “nearly $10 billion over the President's request, and is filled with 2,000 earmarks.”
Perino added that Bush “will call on Congress to take out the pork and reduce the overall spending level and return it to him quickly.”
The appropriations bill had originally been bundled with two other spending bills, one for Veterans affairs and one for a water resources act, and Bush had warned last week that he would veto it if it arrived on his desk as a package with the other bills.
The US Senate agreed to separate the bills and passed HR 3043 back to the White House late last week.
For Congress to override Bush’s veto and make the bill law in its present form, it would require a two-thirds majority in both houses. According to the Senate, Congress has historically overridden less than ten percent of all presidential vetoes.