The Case Against the Confirmation of John Ashcroft As Attorney General of the United States: Part II

Use Of Veto Power

Ashcroft frequently used his veto to balance the state budget or otherwise reject legislation in a way that increased the burden on those least able to bear it. For example, on July 13, 1990, Ashcroft vetoed a bill that would have provided eight weeks of unpaid leave to new birth and adoptive mothers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch condemned Ashcroft’s veto in an editorial: "The veto of this bill pitted the welfare of business against the welfare of the family - and the family lost. As Attorney General, Ashcroft would help shape policy on many legal matters, including many of those most important to the poor and to families.

For fiscal year 1991, Governor Ashcroft vetoed $200,000 in funds to help victims of spousal abuse. Again in 1992 he vetoed $250,000 in funding for domestic violence programs, stating that a $100,000 increase in federal funds over the previous year’s level was available (but failing to mention that the funds had to be shared among a number of crime victims’ programs.) Colleen Coble, executive director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence, called the veto "reprehensible" and noted that "[m]ost of these programs are literally struggling to stay afloat."

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