Bush threatens veto of omnibus appropriations bill

The Bush administration on Friday identified several provisions in the fiscal 2003 omnibus appropriations bill now before the Senate that administration officials consider troubling, and unless those are amended, President Bush could veto the measure.

Although the administration backed the inclusion of $1.5 billion for election reform in the states, the White House the Office of Management Budget (OMB) said opposes adding more money for homeland security purposes.

The administration also opposes language that would prevent the transfer of Customs Service aircraft to the Homeland Security Department and impede the inclusion of the Office for Domestic Preparedness in the new department. Further, OMB questioned the method of funding for an Immigration and Naturalization Service information technology system, arguing that the approach could complicate consolidation of IT systems within the department.

Bush may veto the bill unless Congress prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion.