Comments from the White House make it appear increasingly likely that President Bush will veto the bill making its way through Congress to give the District of Columbia voting representation in the House:
The White House stepped up its opposition today to legislation that would give the District a voting seat in the House of Representatives, saying that President Bush’s top advisors “would recommend that he veto the bill” if it passes Congress.
The statement came as the House Republican leadership began vigorously fighting the bill, moving to “whip” its members to vote against it, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.).
The D.C. vote measure cleared two House committees last week, and is scheduled for a vote by the full House on Friday. The House Democratic leadership has pledged to pass it, and appears to have sufficient votes to do so. It will be the first time the full House has considered granting the District a voting seat in Congress since 1993, when a statehood measure was defeated.
But the threat of a presidential veto could harm the bill’s chances of passing the Senate, where Republican support is needed to avoid a filibuster.
The question, of course, is whether Bush would make good on this threat should the bill make it to his desk. Keep in mind that the White House has questioned the constitutionality of legislation in the past only to have the President sign it in the end. Mc-Cain Feingold being the most extreme example of this particular wimpy behavior.