OVERRIDE BUSH VETO OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, reaffirmed today that he intends to lead the effort in the Senate to override President Bush's veto of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA) (H.R. 1495). Because of the overwhelming bi-partisan votes in both the Senate and the House earlier this year, Senator Inhofe is confident that the Congress will successfully override the President's veto. On September 24, 2007, the Senate voted in favor of the WRDA bill by a margin of 81-12. The House approved the bill in August by a vote of 381-40. As the ranking member and former chairman of the Committee, Senator Inhofe has made passage of the WRDA bill a top priority.
"I am committed to working closely with my Senate colleagues to override President Bush's veto of this critically important national infrastructure bill," Senator Inhofe said. "Infrastructure is an essential part of our nation's economy, and we should not understate the importance of addressing our infrastructure needs. The WRDA bill makes significant progress in addressing our water resources needs in a responsible manner.
"As a fiscal conservative, I certainly appreciate and share the President's concerns over "excessive spending" by the Federal government. The fact is, though, that the WRDA bill is not a spending bill; it is an authorizing bill. It simply sets out which projects and programs are allowed to get in line for future funding and sets the maximum amount of money that can be funded. Authorization is the best tool we have for keeping discipline over the annual appropriations process. Additionally, this bill includes a provision requiring independent third-party reviews of certain projects, which will inform future authorizations and appropriations. Every day that goes by without enacting a WRDA bill is another day we allow unnecessary pressure to build on the appropriators to short-circuit the authorization-then-appropriations process."