WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Clinton vetoed a bill limiting damage claims in product liability suits, arguing that it ignored the rights of states to set limits on awards and took away consumers' best weapon against large corporations. The bill had passed both houses of Congress, but proponents did not have enough votes to assure an override. Republicans had pushed hard for the bill, one of the elements of the GOP's Contract With America, which they said would lower prices of many goods and services by cutting the insurance and litigation costs of manufacturers. As Clinton vetoed the measure, Bob Dole cried foul and charged that the President, whose campaign received $2.5 million dollars from lawyers and law firms last year, was in the pocket of the trial lawyers that opposed the bill. Noting that corporations and organizations supporting the bill pumped almost $6 million last year into the war chests of Congressional supporters, Democrats retorted that Republicans merely representing big business. "Both sides offer arguments of principle to justify their positions," says TIME's Eric Pooley. "But money is talking a lot louder than principle in this case."