WASHINGTON, D.C.: The check's still not in the mail. As promised, President Clinton vetoed a $8.6 billion disaster relief bill and demanded that Republicans send in a revised measure stripped of "extraneous provisions." The bill, which would provide much-needed federal relief to natural disaster victims in 35 states, has been held hostage by GOP riders that would prevent government shutdowns and ban controversial techniques in the 2000 census. While the resulting gridlock will besmirch both the White House and Congressional Republicans, the President stands to gain the upper hand, reports TIME's Jeff McAllister. "Clinton has in general portrayed himself as the more reasonable member in the last year in a half. Because of that, he will probably receive a little more good will."