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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI FEB 15 2002 09:21:37 ET XXXXX
TO VETO OR NOT TO VETO: BUSH, AIDES IN HEATED DEBATE OVER SOFT MONEY BAN
A heated debated has developed inside of President Bush's inner circle over whether to veto a congressional bill which would limit forms of campaign cash to parties by companies, unions and individuals.
Majority Leader Daschle [D-SD] vowed swift action in the Senate on a House measure, which would also outlaw advertising by groups that target candidates just before an election.
"We can't let this stand!" argued one of Bush's senior advisers on Thursday, according to a well-placed source. "We ran against this issue during the campaign."
The president is said to have not made up his mind on a veto as he plans to depart on his Asia trek.
One key Bush strategist argued how the measure, as currently written, would not survive a Supreme Court review.
"Let's not take the hit, I say we sign off.. let it fail on its lack of constitutionality."
The ban on advertisements is causing the dramatic split inside the White House, sources revealed to the DRUDGE REPORT.
"We'll lose Limbaugh over this," warned a top staffer during a meeting. "This will surely come back to haunt us... I'd say we send it back to them and let them take out the advertising rules."
Behind-the-scenes, a senior Republican senator complained that he was getting no guidance from the White House on any potential Bush veto.
"I don't think they've made up their minds yet," the ranking senator told his staff. "We may be on our own with this."
Filed By Matt Drudge
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