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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2006
Fact Sheet: The Legislative Line-Item Veto: Constitutional, Effective, and Bipartisan
Today, President Bush Called On The Senate To Join The House And Quickly Pass The Line-Item Veto, So He Can Sign It Into Law. The line-item veto, already passed by the House, would allow Presidents to target pork in large spending bills. It is an essential part of the President's strategy to reform the budget process and enhance fiscal discipline. The line-item veto President Bush has submitted to Congress is constitutional, effective, and has bipartisan support.
President Bush's Line-Item Veto Legislation Is Constitutional
President Bush's Line-Item Veto Legislation Meets Constitutional Requirements. The Supreme Court struck down the 1996 version of the line-item veto because the Court concluded that it unconstitutionally permitted the President to unilaterally change a law passed by the Congress. Under President Bush's proposal, when the President determines that an earmark or spending provision is wasteful or unnecessary, he can send it back to Congress, and Congress is then required to hold a prompt up-or-down vote on whether to retain the targeted spending.
President Bush's Line-Item Veto Legislation Will Help Restrain Government Spending
The Line-Item Veto Will Address The Central Dilemma Created By Unwarranted Earmarks. When Members of Congress are faced with an important bill that includes wasteful spending tacked on by their colleagues, they have two bad options. Either they vote against the whole bill, including all the worthwhile spending, or they vote for the whole bill, including the wasteful spending. When such a bill comes to the President, he is left with the same bad choice either he vetoes the whole thing, or he signs it with all the wasteful spending intact.
A Line-Item Veto Offers A Smarter Way To Handle Taxpayer Dollars. With a line-item veto, the President could approve the spending that is necessary, redline the spending that is not, and send the wasteful spending back to the Congress for an up-or-down vote.
By Passing Line-Item Veto Legislation, Congress Would Make Lawmakers Think Twice Before Trying To Sneak A Wasteful Project Into A Bill. When legislators know that their projects may be held up for closer public scrutiny, it discourages them from proposing this spending in the first place.
President Bush's Line-Item Veto Legislation Has Bipartisan Support
At The State Level, 43 Governors Already Have A Line-Item Veto, And They Are Almost Evenly Divided Between Democrats And Republicans. Governors from both parties use their line-item authority to restrain wasteful spending in their state budgets.
The Line-Item Veto Also Has Bipartisan Support In Congress. Thirty-five Democrats joined more than 200 Republicans in the House to pass the line-item veto last week. The Line-Item Veto now pending in the Senate also has bipartisan support, with Senator John Kerry as a cosponsor of the legislation. By coming together to pass this important reform, Congress will bring discipline to the budget process.
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