[JURIST] President Bush again [JURIST report] urged the US Senate on Tuesday to pass legislation allowing him to use a line-item veto [JURIST news archive] to weed out what the White House has labeled wasteful spending. In White House remarks [transcript] on the Office of Management and Budget's Mid-Session Review [OMB fact sheet] for 2006, Bush called for the Senate to approve the line-item veto bill [text, PDF; summary, PDF] approved by the House [JURIST report] last month:
Under this proposal, the President can approve spending that's necessary; redline spending that's not; and send back the wasteful, unnecessary spending to the Congress for a prompt up or down vote. In other words, it's a collaborative effort between the two branches of government, all aimed at making sure we can earn the trust of the taxpayers.In a speech last month [JURIST report], the President said the House bill had been crafted to pass constitutional muster under a 1998 US Supreme Court decision [opinion text] that struck down the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 [PDF text] because it upset the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. The current legislation allows the president to strip special spending and earmarks out of spending bills and then send those provisions back to Congress for an up or down majority vote, rather than requiring them to be sustained by a two-thirds supermajority, as the 1996 law did.
Listen, the line-item veto works. Forty-three governors of both parties have this authority, and they use it effectively to help restrain spending in their state budgets. I've talked to some of these governors, used to be a governor. I know what I'm talking about when it comes to line-item veto being an effective tool. The line-item veto provides a lot of advantages, and one of them is it acts as a deterrent. See, when legislators think they can slip their individual items in a spending bill without notice, they do it.