RealNews

Veto Threatened on Bill to Restrict Powers Under Terrorism Law

The Bush administration, stepping up the debate over its antiterrorism policies, threatened on Thursday to veto a pending bill that would scale back the government’s powers under the USA Patriot Act. Attorney General John Ashcroft told reporters that the bill, sponsored by Senate Republicans and Democrats, “unilaterally disarms America’s defenses” against terrorists and that President Bush intended to veto the measure if Congress passed it. The threat of a veto represents an unusual pre-emptive strike by the administration. The bill has not even come up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Supporters of the measure reacted angrily. Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the measure, called Mr. Ashcroft’s comments “an unfortunate overreaction.” Full Story

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