Bush’s First Veto?

In six years in office, President Bush has yet to veto a single bill.  Of course, he hasn’t really needed to veto anything since he has decided that he can simply issue hundreds of “signing statements” declaring that he can ignore any law or parts of any law that conflict with his own interpretation of his constitutional powers.  

But Bush’s six year drought may soon becoming to an end if he upholds his threat to veto if Congress expands federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research – and Karl Rove says he will  

“The president is emphatic about this,” said Rove – Bush’s top political adviser and architect of his 2000 and 2004 campaigns – in a meeting with The Denver Post editorial board.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 238-194 last year to pass the legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. If the Senate approves the bill, it will go to the president’s desk.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who backs the bill, has said he will try to bring it up for a Senate vote soon.

“It is something we would, frankly, like to avoid,” Rove said when asked if the White House would welcome, or dread, vetoing legislation passed by a Republican Congress, especially on such an emotional issue as embryonic stem-cell research.

But Rove said he believes the legislation will pass the Senate with more than 60 votes this month, “and as a result the president would, as he has previously said emphatically, veto the Castle bill.”

Efforts to expand stem cell research has majority support among the American people and vetoing this bill will undoubtedly appease the Right.  But it’s not Bush who faces voters in November.  Seems likely that some of Bush’s allies will use his stance to motivate their own base, while others will use it to demonstrate some distance from a not-very-popular president.