House approves line-item veto for president

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House approves line-item veto for president
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans put aside their usual antipathy toward President Barack Obama on Wednesday to give the president, and his successors, the line-item veto, a constitutionally questionable power over the purse that long has been sought by presidents of both parties.

A minority of Democrats joined in casting a 254-173 vote in favor of allowing the president to pick out specific items in spending bills for elimination.

Currently, the chief executive must sign or veto spending bills in their entirety.
The main opposition came from members of the Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for putting together the annual spending bills. They argued that the bill upsets the constitutional separation of powers balance in favor of the executive branch, and that recent efforts to curtail so-called earmarks in spending bills make the line-item veto unnecessary.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are uncertain.

In 1996, a Republican-controlled Congress succeeded in giving line-item veto authority to another Democratic president, Bill Clinton. He exercised that authority 82 times, and although Congress overrode his veto in 38 instances, the moves saved the government almost $2 billion.

But in 1998, on a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, saying it violated the principle that Congress, and not the executive branch, holds the power of the purse.

Supporters say the bill has been written to meet constitutional standards. They say that while the president can propose items for rescission, or elimination, Congress must vote on the revised spending package and then the president must sign what is in effect a new bill.

The House bill, offered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the top Democrat on the committee, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, stipulates that all savings from eliminated programs go to deficit reduction. House Republicans have included the bill as part of a package of measures to overhaul the budget process so as to save money.

Van Hollen, in arguing the need for more scrutiny of spending bills, pointed to the catch-all spending bill the House voted on in December, when members had only 15 hours to review a 1,200-page bill containing more than $1 trillion in spending.

"Sometimes we call them airdrops, earmarks, pork," Ryan said of special interest projects that find their way into spending bills. "Whatever you want to call it, we ought to have members of Congress think twice that they might have to justify this provision, this spending bill, on the merits."

Freshman Republican Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia voiced the dilemma felt by some Republicans about the bill: "I'm not thrilled about involving this president in budgeting decisions any more than is absolutely necessary," he said. "But given the nature of our challenges, it's not about this president or the previous president or the next president, it's about the American people."

But Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said he opposed the measure because it would weaken the authority of Congress and give the president "a power that our founding fathers did not see fit to give to him." He added that a president can use the line-item veto to give preferences to his own spending priorities.

The bill was supported by 57 Democrats. Forty-one Republicans voted against it.

Under the proposal, the president has 45 days within the enactment of a spending bill to send a special message to Congress proposing cuts to any amount of discretionary, or non-entitlement, spending. Legislation to consider the proposed cuts would move quickly to the House and Senate floors for automatic up-or-down votes with no amendments.

The White House, in a statement, said it "strongly supports" passage of the bill, praising it for "helping to eliminate unnecessary spending and discouraging waste." It said the bill was similar to a line-item veto proposal that Obama sent to Congress in May 2010.

The bill faces an unclear road ahead in the Senate. Four senators — Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Dan Coats of Indiana and Democrats Tom Carper of Delaware and Mark Udall of Colorado — pushed to have a line-item veto provision considered by the supercommittee which last year was unable to come up with a comprehensive plan to reduce the deficit.

The four issued a statement after the vote calling on the Senate to take up the legislation. "With a $15 trillion national debt and record-low approval ratings of Washington," McCain said, "I can't think of a better time so show some fiscal restraint and help end wasteful pork-barrel spending."

But the Senate, traditionally more protective of its constitutional powers, has not always been receptive to the line-item veto idea. In 2007 former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., picked up 49 votes for a line-item proposal, well short of the 60 needed to break a Democratic-led filibuster.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap...TLC_SA?docId=f418e62f5e4847629192e70ccdb4be19
Sounds like they're really planning on winning in November, I can't believe they'd hand this much power to Obama.
 

jagsfans

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It's just house Republicans pissing on the Constitution they claim to love. It's laughable when I hear conservatives talking about how much we love the Constitution. Fuck all these traitors to the Country.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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It isn't because after the line-item vetoes the bill goes back to them for re-approval.
That end around doesn't make it any more acceptable. Congress is supposed to make a bill and send it to the president, who either signs or vetoes it in its entirety. The Constitution is quite clear about that. The funny thing is, I'm almost positive an amendment to give the line item veto would succeed. They're just too lazy to try.
 

Neon

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Weird. Apparently when Clinton got the line item veto in 1996, the law was proposed and backed by Bob Dole and John McCain.... What is it with republicans giving democratic presidents line item veto?
 

Party Rooster

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Weird. Apparently when Clinton got the line item veto in 1996, the law was proposed and backed by Bob Dole and John McCain.... What is it with republicans giving democratic presidents line item veto?
Republicans just like destroying the Constitution. I wish I could paint...:icon_cool
 

Party Rooster

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#10
lol. Seriously, though - line item veto is just bad, period.
I think they think, like in 1996, they have a good chance of getting an incumbent Democrat out of the White House. They know they couldn't have even brought it up when Bush was president since it really doesn't have any Democrat support in the first place.

I do like the idea of it. Most state governments have some sort of line item veto to balance their budgets.
 

Norm Stansfield

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lol. Seriously, though - line item veto is just bad, period.
Why? It doesn't afford any new spending power to the President. It gives him the power to take away some of the spending power from lawmakers who cut backroom deals or add earmarks for their projects.

It's a limit on government. It's not much, because as long as you have a President like Obama in office he's not going to cut anything significant, but it is something. And who knows, maybe someone better will eventually end up in the White House.
 

Neon

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Why? It doesn't afford any new spending power to the President. It gives him the power to take away some of the spending power from lawmakers who cut backroom deals or add earmarks for their projects.

It's a limit on government. It's not much, because as long as you have a President like Obama in office he's not going to cut anything significant, but it is something. And who knows, maybe someone better will eventually end up in the White House.
Don't measure its merits by what it could do, but by what it would do.
 

Norm Stansfield

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lol. Seriously, though - line item veto is just bad, period.
Why? It doesn't afford any new spending power to the President. It gives him the power to take away some of the spending power from lawmakers who cut backroom deals or add earmarks for their projects.

It's a limit on government. It's not much, because as long as you have a President like Obama in office he's not going to cut anything significant, but it is something. And who knows, maybe someone better will eventually end up in the White House.
 

Your_Moms_Box

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#14
Why not cut out the entire need for a "line item veto" by instead just passing a law making earmarks illegal?

Maybe make it so that if someone wants $2 million for a road that just happens to go through 100 acres of swampland they own that they have to propose it in its own bill?
 

mascan42

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#15
Why not cut out the entire need for a "line item veto" by instead just passing a law making earmarks illegal?

Maybe make it so that if someone wants $2 million for a road that just happens to go through 100 acres of swampland they own that they have to propose it in its own bill?
That would require a Congress that's okay with taking money out of their own pockets.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Why not cut out the entire need for a "line item veto" by instead just passing a law making earmarks illegal?
Earmarks are only a very small part of the problem, but they could easily do that if they wanted to. They don't want to. None of them.
 

Norm Stansfield

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Why not cut out the entire need for a "line item veto" by instead just passing a law making earmarks illegal?
Because earmarks are not the only way for a member of Congress to waste money on a pet project. But of course, that would also be a great move.

However, instead of those, a better solution would be to amend the Constitution with Article 1, Sections 7(2), 8(1), 8(3), and 9(20) of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. That would pretty much fix Washington.
 

domelogic

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Why? It doesn't afford any new spending power to the President. It gives him the power to take away some of the spending power from lawmakers who cut backroom deals or add earmarks for their projects.

It's a limit on government. It's not much, because as long as you have a President like Obama in office he's not going to cut anything significant, but it is something. And who knows, maybe someone better will eventually end up in the White House.

Somehow I dont trust anyone to do the right thing so what you say is a pipe dream but one we wouldnt all mind having
 

Norm Stansfield

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Somehow I dont trust anyone to do the right thing so what you say is a pipe dream but one we wouldnt all mind having
People do what they think is the right thing all the time. The problem is not that politicians aren't doing the right thing, it's that almost everyone in this country thinks that welfare and big government is the right thing to do.

If more than half the people in this country would agree with changes to the Constitution that would limit government to its proper functions, it would be done in less than a decade.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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If more than half the people in this country would agree with changes to the Constitution that would limit government to its proper functions, it would be done in less than a decade.
We can't even agree on an American Idol winner, so good luck with that!
 

Stig

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#22
Weird. Apparently when Clinton got the line item veto in 1996, the law was proposed and backed by Bob Dole and John McCain.... What is it with republicans giving democratic presidents line item veto?
It's a trap!