House votes to override Governor's veto - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

House votes to override Governor's veto

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Shortly after the Arkansas House convened Wednesday, Governor Beebe's veto letter was read, but less a minute later, a point of privilege by the vetoed bill's sponsor Representative Andy Mayberry.

Tuesday, Mayberry and others were confident they had to votes to override, but Wednesday, democratic leaders got to work, joining Beebe in applying pressure on the members of his party. Mayberry learned his votes were dwindling early that morning, so he wasted no time bringing it to the House floor.

"I just felt like it had a greater possibility of passing the sooner it ran," said Mayberry.

Many pro-life democrats who voted for the bill less than a week ago, were nowhere to be found Wednesday. Empty chairs stuck out in the chamber. Those who remained cast a close vote. Fifty-one votes were needed to override the veto. 53, including the speaker and two democrats -- Jody Dickinson and John Catlett.

"It took a lot of courage, and I'm very, very grateful for them {the democrats} to do so," said Mayberry.

Catlett said leaving the chambers to avoid a tough vote isn't what his voters expect of him.

"I feel like the voters of my district sent me here to vote and I've always tried to vote on every issue," said Catlett.

However, voting against a governor he respects and a party he's loyal to wasn't easy. In fact, it's one of the most difficult votes this two-term democrat has made.

"It's probably one of the hardest that I've had to make and the hard votes, people send you down here to make them," said Catlett.

The senate will attempt to override Beebe's veto Thursday. Eighteen votes are needed in that chamber. The bill received 25 votes last week, but after Wednesday, it's clear both sides are fighting for every vote.

COMPLETE COVERAGE
Bills to restrict abortions pass Ark. House (Feb. 4)
Ark. Senate passes 20 week abortion ban (Feb. 13)
20 week abortion bill heads to governor's desk (Feb. 21)
Beebe vetoes 20 week abortion bill (Feb. 26)
House votes to override governor's veto (Feb. 27)
Ark. Senate overrides veto on abortion bill (Feb. 28)
Roll call from veto vote in Ark. Senate (Feb. 28)
Beebe: Override doesn't change concerns about abortion ban (Feb. 28)
Override of Beebe's veto may open state to litigation (March 4)
Many unsure who would police 20 week abortion ban (March 5)