Line Item Veto

 

Provisions of Line Item Veto Explained

Proposed Amendment of Line Item Veto

Why a Line Item Veto is Needed

Why a Constitutional Amendment


Provisions of Line Item Veto Explained

Overview

Here I will lay out the basic points of the version of Line Item Veto which I would like to see passed.

 

1. President has the Authority to do a line item veto.

a) The President can strike out any term, line, or provision in a bill sent to him.

 

2. Bill as signed will become law.

a) The entire bill, except for any part stricken by the President (and then signed by the President) will become law.

b) Any item stricken by the President will be considered a veto.

 

3. Congress has the opportunity to over-ride any line item veto

a) Any item stricken by the President will be considered a veto in the traditional sense, and can become law with a traditional override.

b) The Congress can consider any item vetoed by the President as a line item veto. Each item can be considered individually, or in desired groupings, from that bill.

c) If Congress manages a 2/3 vote to over-ride the line item veto (or vote on the collection of line item vetoes), then those items will be considered passed into law.


Proposed Amendment of Line Item Veto

 

1. The President of the United States shall have the authority to strike any word, phrase, provision, or expenditure from any bill sent by Congress.

2. The bill as signed will become law, except for the items stricken by the President.

3. Any item stricken by the President can be reconsidered by Congress, and any such item shall become law if Congress approves of an over-ride by a 2/3 vote.


Why a Line Item Veto is Needed

1. Balance of Power is essential in our Federal Government

There has always been a balance of power between the President and Congress. This has been established in the Constitution.

 

2. The size of Federal Government and the Complexity of Bills has increased

However, as the United States has grown, the Federal Government has grown. Some of the bills become very complex. The impact on the government's role, and the effect on the nation, can be significant, by just a few words or phrases.

The President should have the authority to strike a few key words, phrases, or provisions from an otherwise very useful bill.

 

3. Provisions unrelated to the bill should be rejected

In addition, there are many legislators who attach provisions to a bill which have nothing to do with a bill.

These unscrupulous legislators attach the unrelated provisions because they know these provisions might not pass on their own.

The unrelated provisions are passed into law because, unfortunately, too many legislators do not actually read the bills they are voting on.

The President should have the authority to strike these unrelated items from the bill.

 

4. Unnecessary Expenditures should be rejected

Similarly, there are many legislators who attach expenditures to a bill which have nothing to do with the bill, or are personal items for their wealthy contributors (i.e. "pork").

The unrelated provisions are passed into law because, unfortunately, too many legislators do not actually read the details of the expenditures they are voting on.

The President should have the authority to strike these unrelated expenditures from the bill.


 

Why a Constitutional Amendment

The Constitution of the United States, as with any constitution or charter, specifies the authorities of each branch of government. There cannot be major changes to the authority of any branch without a Constitutional Amendment.

Giving the President a line item veto is a major change to the President's authority, and therefore will require a constitutional amendment.