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December 22, 2014

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Agassi earmark sidelined by Bush

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s veto this morning of the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education bill sidelines for now the $500,000 earmark for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a campus that serves some of the poorer parts of Las Vegas.

Bad news for the school, but a welcome victory for the anti-pork czars at Citizens Against Government Waste who counted the Agassi earmark as one of their marquee examples of excess spending.

Bush has vowed to continue vetoing the annual appropriations bills, saying Congress is spending too much.

But Democrats note that Bush turned a blind eye when Republicans were in charge of Congress, never once vetoing a spending bill when they routinely came in over budget.

Congress has little chance of overriding the veto after 19 Senate Republicans who originally supported the bill switched their votes last week.

Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign was not among the flip-floppers -- he originally voted against the bill, as did Republican Rep. Dean Heller.

Supporting the bill was Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, who tucked in the Agassi earmark on the House side, with support from Republican Rep. Jon Porter, as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who inserted the spending request on the Senate side.

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