Tobacco regulation measure faces fight

From the Associated Press

The Bush administration strongly opposes legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products, a top official said in a letter to Congress.

The letter is the strongest indication yet that the administration will try to block the popular legislation. A long battle with the White House could doom the bill this year.

“The administration would strongly oppose this legislation,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a letter to Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas), senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.