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Democrat Calls on US President to Sign Veterans' Affairs Spending Bill

The Democratic U.S. congressman who represents President Bush's district in Texas has called on the president to sign a $64.7 billion bill to fund veterans' affairs, including health care.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill, which increases spending for veterans by six billion dollars.

Representative Chet Edwards says in the Democrats' radio address Saturday that the Bush administration and Republican congressional budgets seem to put higher priority on tax cuts for the wealthy than health care benefits for veterans.

Edwards says President Bush backed down from his veto threat when it became clear that Congress could override his veto. Edwards adds the spending bill honors U.S. troops by providing better health care.

President Bush formed a bipartisan commission to investigate the quality of health care for veterans after deplorable conditions were discovered at a Washington military hospital earlier this year.