House Democrats, losing some support even on their own side, failed to muster enough votes to override President Bush's veto of their bill to provide a tax cut for most middle-income Americans and a tax increase for the wealthy.
The expected defeat, on a 215-211 vote Wednesday, likely dooms any prospect for a tax bill this year. Bush said he did not intend to negotiate further with Congress on the matter.Supporters of the bill needed a two-thirds vote to pass it over the president's objections, but they failed to get even a simple majority. Some Democrats who reluctantly voted for the bill originally did not vote to override.
The failure to override extended Bush's unbroken string of successful vetoes to 27.
In a statement issued by the White House, Bush said the vote "indicates broad support for my position in both parties," and expressed hope "that the many Democrats who gave us majority strength on the veto votes might join us on proposals to speed the economic recovery."
A few hours before the vote, Bush declared he would not negotiate an economic plan with Democrats in Congress, saying, "The time has come to take the case to the American people."
The vetoed bill would have given most middle-income Americans a two-year tax cut, and made permanent an additional tax break for families with children. The tax relief would be paid for with a new 36-percent top income tax rate for the wealthy and a 10-percent surtax on millionaires.
Chairman Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, of the Senate Finance Committee said Bush was within his constitutional rights to veto the bill but added, "Now that he's done that, now that he's spent several days attacking it, where do we go from here?"
3 Utahns back Bush
Wayne Owens and Bill Orton, both D-Utah, and Jim hansen, R-Utah, voted to uphold President Bush's veto. :wq!