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Pet projects face the threat of line-item veto

President Clinton is likely to use his new line-item veto power again by next Monday, this time on lawmakers' pet projects in a military construction bill, White House officials say.

Administration officials met with top lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday to discuss spending legislation, which, as usual, is lagging behind schedule. And they warned that Clinton was ready to veto individual items in the bills, a power the president received this year for the first time."They gave us every indication they're going to exercise their prerogatives," said Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Livingston and other members of his panel and the Senate Appropriations Committee met with chief White House lobbyist John Hilley, White House budget director Franklin Raines and other administration officials.

Hilley said officials were considering vetoing items that Clinton did not request, were not included in the bipartisan budget deal, or have not been authorized by previous legislation.

Clinton received a memo from his aides Wednesday night that outlined items in the bill that could be vetoed, but the president said he has not read it. "As the bills come in, I will ask for a review of the potential uses by specific bills and make judgments as we go," he said Thursday.

Clinton signed into law the $9.2 billion military construction measure on Tuesday. Of the 13 annual spending bills for the fiscal year that began on Wednesday, Congress has completed work on five.

Aides were hoping to present Clinton with specific options by the end of the week.

By law, Clinton has until Monday to veto any military construction item.