Veto Puts Oklahoma Projects On Hold

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 2:15 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Several Oklahoma projects are on hold following a vote in the U.S. House to sustain President Bush's veto of a Democratic health and education spending bill.

Oklahoma Republicans had secured projects for their districts in the bill but later opposed the legislation because they said it was wasteful, The Oklahoman reported from its Washington bureau.

Bush last week vetoed the bill, which included $10 billion more in spending than the president recommended in his budget. Late Thursday, the House narrowly voted to sustain the veto.

Oklahoma Republican Reps. Tom Cole, Mary Fallin, Frank Lucas and John Sullivan voted to sustain the president's veto. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., voted to override it.

All 226 House Democrats voting supported overriding the veto, and they were joined by 51 Republicans; 141 Republicans voted to sustain the veto. It requires the approval of two-thirds of those voting to override a veto.

Among the projects in the measure was $100,000 for the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation; $640,000 for the Norman Regional Health System; $100,000 for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and $250,000 for a college prep school in Oklahoma City.

Boren said he had secured money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware County, a family health center in Tishomingo and health services at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton.

``There are definitely some things (in the bill) that are beneficial to my district and to the state,'' Boren said.

But Cole, who helped get the money for the Norman health system and $200,000 for Integris Health, said the bill spent too much on ``dubious projects.''

``Unfortunately, there were also some very worthy projects in the bill, but $10 billion over the president's budget is simply too much,'' Cole said.

According to a list of projects in the bill compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Fallin helped secure $250,000 to fund the KIPP College Prep School in Oklahoma City.

With the help of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Fallin also got $100,000 for Rural Enterprises Inc. to sponsor entrepreneurship programs; $100,000 for construction of a biotech research tower for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and $100,000 for a nursery for St. Anthony Hospital.

But Fallin said the bill ``represents out-of-control spending at its worst.''

She said she wants Congress to approve a bill to meets those needs ``while acting more responsibly with taxpayer dollars.''