President Bush released a $2.7-trillion federal budget request for fiscal 2007 last week, which makes particularly timely a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study that reveals that Bush is the first President since James Garfield not to veto any bill through an entire presidential term. This is especially noteworthy because Garfield was assassinated in 1881 after serving only six months in office.
Citing the CRS study, Human Events Political Editor John Gizzi asked White House Spokesman Scott McClellan whether the President would threaten to veto spending bills this year if they did not keep within his budget guidelines.
"I think you have to keep in mind the trend that we’re on when it comes to controlling spending and look at where things were when we came into office and where we are today," said McClellan, who then went on to explain at length that the President is committed to curtailing non-security-related domestic spending.
Gizzi finally repeated, "But will he veto?" Again, McClellan did not answer directly. "Well, the President — again, I think you have to keep in mind that Congress has met the budget outlines that he has put in place."