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Bond votes to override veto; McCaskill to sustain

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri's two U.S. Senators split their vote Thursday in the override of a presidential veto, but not in the way you might think.

Republican Kit Bond voted to override President Bush's veto of a bill that allows seven locks and dams to be rebuilt along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

But Democrat Claire McCaskill sided with the president and voted to keep the veto in place.

Bond spoke on the floor of the Senate before the vote.

"This bill does not spend a dollar. It's an authorization bill. It says these projects are approved for consideration for funding," Bond said. "This just adds projects to the list eligible. The breakfast menu is bigger but the breakfast budget is unchanged."

McCaskill says she doesn't oppose the lock and dam projects. She says she opposed the billions of dollars added to the bill after it initially passed the House and Senate.

"Whenever there's an appropriation bill where they've dropped in spending behind closed doors in conference, that neither body has considered, I'm going to say 'no,'" she said. "It's hard and it causes a lot of stress because there's so many things in the bill I care about."

McCaskill says her vote will probably cost her some political points because the bill has had so much support in Missouri.

She was one of only two Democrats who voted to sustain the veto.

Senator Bond has pushed for the lock-and-dam projects for years and was among the 34 Republicans who defied the president in voting to override.

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