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Monday, May 01, 2006

Lott Thumbs Nose at Bush Spending Bill Veto Threat; Says He, Cochran Are "Wily Guys"


Sen. Trent Lott, R-MS, is telling home-state reporters that he isn't worried by that veto threat last week from President Bush.

"I don't take it that seriously. And I don't think (Bush's) priorities come down from heaven," Lott told the Hattiesburg American.

Not only is Lott not worried that Bush might for the first time in his presidency veto a spending bill, Lott thinks quite highly of himself and Sen. Thad Cochran, Lott's colleague who happens to be Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"Senator Cochran and I are wily guys," Lott boasted to the newspaper.

He was referring to the emergency spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery that Lott and Cochran stuffed with a $700 million earmark to move the "Railroad to Nowhere" in order to clear the way for gambling interests and other developers to construct new facilities along the Mississippi coast.

Lott and other senators pumped the bill to more than $106 billion with earmarks added to the emergency bill that originally included $92 billion. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, failed by one vote last week to secure passage of an amendment that would have stripped the $700 million out of the bill.

Who was the one vote? Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who earlier in the day had told Bush he and others had rounded up enough senators to sustain a presidential veto.