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Costlier-than-Advertised Highway Bill Deserves Bush's Veto, Six Citizen Groups Say
For Immediate Release August 4, 2005
(Alexandria, VA) -- Despite his announced intention to sign the mammoth $286.5 billion highway bill into law, President Bush still has plenty of reasons to change his mind and veto the legislation, according to a letter from six prominent citizen groups sent to the White House today. The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and Taxpayers for Common Sense Action organized the statement.
"Despite your stated position on the issue, Congress used budget gimmicks to break the $283.9 billion budget ceiling you set by approximately $11 billion," the letter to Bush noted. "Your veto will send the message that Congress must rein in its profligate spending habits ...."
The list of signatories on the statement reads like a virtual "who's who" of fiscal watchdog organizations. Leaders with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and FreedomWorks joined with officials from Taxpayers for Common Sense Action and NTU on the letter.
The signers pointed out that Congress's decision to exceed the President's recommended funding level by $2.5 billion was "reason alone" for a veto. However, they cited several other arguments against signing the legislation:
While President Bush described the transportation bill yesterday as "fiscally responsible," the signatories contend that much more work needs to be done on the legislation before it is worthy of such a term. "H.R. 3 is full of wasteful spending and uses budget gimmicks that hide the true cost to taxpayers," the letter concluded. "We urge you to veto it, so Congress can craft a [genuinely] fiscally responsible transportation bill."
NTU is a non-profit citizen group working for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: The letter to President Bush, along with numerous commentaries and studies on transportation policy, is available online at www.ntu.org.