In the wake of their defeat at the hands of media-deregulation opponents, the
White House and House GOP leaders were stepping up their counterattack.
Lawmakers Thursday were being asked to sign a letter pledging to
sustain a veto of a bill funding the Commerce, Justice and State Departments if
it contains a provision reinstating the 35% cap on TV-household reach.
Just such a provision was approved by the House Wednesday and is expected to
be approved by the Senate in September.
The White House hopes a credible veto threat will convince House and Senate
negotiators to eliminate the provision when they meet in conference to reconcile
differences between their two bills.
Earlier this week, White House budget director Joshua Bolten penned House
Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) a letter pledging that, as
expected, "senior advisors" to President Bush would recommend a veto if any
media-ownership reregulation is contained in the appropriations bill.