George W. Bush this morning quietly vetoed legislation that would have expanded health coverage for children by increasing the federal tax on cigarettes. The bill passed with large bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate. The president vetoed it today behind closed doors, with no ceremony and no press present.
It was only the fourth time the man who ran as a "compassionate conservative" has exercised his veto power.
The other three:
July 19, 2006: Bush vetoes a bill that would have lifted restriction on the use of federal funds for research on stem-cell lines derived from embryos that would otherwise be destroyed by fertility clinics.
May 1, 2007: Bush vetoes a bill that would have tied continuing funding for the war in Iraq to a timetable for ending it.
June 20, 2007: Bush once again vetoes a bill that would have allowed federally funded research on stem-cell lines derived from embryos that would otherwise be destroyed by fertility clinics.
Supporters of the child healthcare bill Bush vetoed this morning seem to have enough votes to overcome his veto in the Senate but not in the House.