Isakson comes out swinging for line-item veto

Citing a need to “take bold and immediate steps to end the reckless spending that is threatening the future of our nation,” Sen. Johnny Isakson has co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment that would give the President line-item veto power.

“This amendment will give the President much-needed authority to remove items from appropriations bills that are considered wasteful on a national perspective,” said Isakson in a statement today. “One of the problems we have in America with deficit spending is spending money on projects that by anybody’s definition are unnecessary projects…We need to have politicians justifying what they just spent rather than promising what they will spend.”

This bill attempts to correct the deficiencies of the 1996 line-item veto bill that was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, in part by “allowing [the President] to cancel or reduce any appropriation passed by Congress,” rather than just to eliminate an appropriation.

14 comments

  1. Burdell says:

    A line-item veto is good, and should be supported, but it won’t actually fix anything unless it’s coupled with promises to reduce spending.

    Let’s face it, if the President got this power (just what we need, by the way, more power to a single person), Congressmen would put even more pork in legislation, knowing things would even out once some of it got cut.

    Furthermore, the line-item veto would allow the president to engage in his own form of logrolling: support my universal health care plan, and I won’t veto your City’s pork project. Two bad bills instead of none.

    The only way to stop Government from spending is to keep the money from the government, and in the hands of those who earned it. That takes permanent tax cuts, not expansion of presidential power.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    Funny how he didn’t do this when the GOP was in control and he was so busy rubber stamping every mad Bush spending plan in sight.

  3. Tea Party says:

    Not funny, sickening. GOP is hearing the “It’s the economy, stupid” clamor and sullying forth to combat the problem.

    The line-iten veto, while able to be abused, is something long overdue.

    Stop the spending? Yeah, right.

    I agree with Burdell as well.

  4. StevePerkins says:

    The line-item veto is, was, and always will be a sham… just meaningless political eye candy. When the Supreme Court struck it down in Clinon v. New York, they noted that the Executive branch already basically has this power to begin with. The Legislative branch has the power to appropriate funds. However, it is the role of the Executive branch to actually carry out the use of the funds. The Executive is NOT bound to spend the full amount of funds allocated. In fact, the Executive is not bound to spend ANY of the funds allocated.

    If the President wants to effectively “line-item veto” some pork, all he has to do at any time is issue an executive order against spending some of all of those allocated funds. This obviously doesn’t work for “vetoing” general laws that don’t involve appropriations… but if the purpose is trimming pork, the President has the power to do so at any time. They just seldom do.

  5. juliobarrios says:

    I hate to tell you the line-item veto won’t do squat, except for the occasional minor token veto.

    You’ve still got to have a President with the guts to use it, and when it comes to spending that wouldn’t be Bush. There are times in each Presidential administration when he’s got a controversial bill to get passed that requires a lot of arm twisting and political capitol. What do you think happens to a President’s IOU’s and favors when he starts eliminating the pet projects of all the Congressman – good-bye to getting anything done. He’s got to strike deals just like the legislators have to strike with each other.

    Bush and the GOP congress have blown Clinton away when it comes to non-military spending and it seems a tad bit hypocritical to try and implement controls when Bush has got one foot out of the door..

  6. Holly says:

    Steve is completely correct. And that recent threat from Bush to throw out all the earmarks didn’t mean that he would’ve saved taxpayer money by doing so. It just means that he could’ve used the money set aside for district projects to fund the general budgets, which is how it would be used if “un-earmarked” anyway. Though most people assumed it meant Bush was planning to spend less money. . . well, we should all know better than that, right?

  7. Goldwater Conservative says:

    You all know that this was discussed in the constitutional convention, and was not put into the constitution for a reason…right? The Federalists were far more insightful and intelligent than any one in this blog. I am at least smart enough to get that…and Perkins is at least smart enough to know how undoable the scheme is.

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