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(NewsWatch50)   Bush to Congress: "Give me line-item veto power." Congress to Bush: "No, we'd rather not"   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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24481 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Feb 2006 at 12:58 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

267 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-02-20 02:12:08 PM  
I just wish that there was a congress person brave enough to stick some good riders on these important bills.

For Example.

From now on all members of congress will take a $50,000 a year paycut, will have to use private health insurance, will have to save for their own retirement instead of having a pension plan, will only get paid for their time in congress not the lifelong benefits, etc.
2006-02-20 02:12:20 PM  
Of course, when Bill Clinton did it 82 times this wasn't a's scary and mean when the evil Republicans do it:
2006-02-20 02:12:58 PM  
The biggest problem I have with the line item veto is that it would be in the hands of Bush.

/slaps head.
2006-02-20 02:13:42 PM  
I think Bush will be the standard to which we hold all speculation about future tinkering with separation of powers.

"We would like to grant the following power to the president. We like it and think it could be used for the benefit of the nation. Now, let's imagine putting it in the hands of someone like Dubya . . . . . . Oh dear god! Kill it, kill it now!"
2006-02-20 02:16:54 PM  
Dyolf_Knip: I think Bush will be the standard to which we hold all speculation about future tinkering with separation of powers.

I always use Hitler. If I'm not comfortable giving a power to a hypothetical President Hitler, I'm not comforable giving it to anyone.
2006-02-20 02:19:48 PM  
By the way, people: I did NOT make up that bit about Lawrence Welk. Your tax dollars are paying to maintain his boyhood home. No joke.

...and yet, no joke, not a single penny of tax dollars pay to maintain Mount Vernon. WTF?
2006-02-20 02:20:16 PM  
By that standard, MWeather, I would not be comfortable having a head of state, period.
2006-02-20 02:21:31 PM  
I admittedly DRTFT, but there is no need for a line item veto. We need a President that has the courage to send these bills back and say he/she won't sign them until the pork is removed. Then let 2/3rds of the Congress and Senate vote for it. That way we know who needs to be voted out of office. If people only cared enough to hold individuals responsible instead of blaming all the worlds problems on a particular political party or the other.
2006-02-20 02:22:46 PM  
I don't support the line item veto.

Presidents can use it to blackmail Congresspeople by threatening to veto their pork while allowing other pork to pass. Or, a president can veto all opposing party pork while allowing all of his own. Pork barrel politics is an issue, but it's an issue for Congress to solve, not the President.
2006-02-20 02:24:43 PM  
Waaaaaaaaaaaitasec...the Congress passing the riders wants the President to be able to veto the riders they pass?

I think they know more about what the midterm elections have in store than they're letting on...
2006-02-20 02:24:56 PM  
did anyone else think the title was a reference to bartleby the scrivener? not sure if I spelled that correctly.
2006-02-20 02:25:21 PM  

I basically agree; however, what happens when a president, especially one who panders to the religious, decides that he doesn't want to fund hospitals because they don't use prayer to heal people. While the hospitals will eventually get their funding, there could/would be a huge delay while possibly hundreds of individual lines are re-voted on.

What about stem-cell research or any other controversial science?

I don't really trust Congress or the President to understand science and why it needs funding. Also, there is a legitimate concern that 2/3 of Congress may be unable to agree that medical research is more important than religious beliefs.

/these are extreme examples.
2006-02-20 02:25:25 PM  
Nevermind, I had it backwards.
2006-02-20 02:25:30 PM  

You make my blood boil.
2006-02-20 02:26:36 PM  
2006-02-20 01:17:11 PM Snarfangel

We should give Congress the equivalent of a line-item veto. If someone sticks a pork project on a necessary bill, they can vote against that one specific part but *for* the part(s) they like -- and if they vote for the everything, pork included, they'd better have a reason other than "the bill was mostly okay."

Not that I'm ideologically opposed to giving the President a line-item veto, I just think the power would do more good in the hands of Congress.

I am ideologically opposed to a line-item veto, but I like your idea for a Congressional line-item vote (though I can't come out and support it straightaway, I think it's an idea that should be looked into) and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
2006-02-20 02:27:34 PM  
2006-02-20 01:39:55 PM towatchoverme

* A cellphone lasts maybe 9 months before the user buys a newer model
* A television craps out after 2 years
* Lots of people trade in their cars every 3-4 years
* About 40-50 per cent of marriages end in divorce

And yet ... the two-party system keeps going and going and going ...

Politicians stack the deck by requiring large numbers of signatures for ballot access. They also appropriate large sums of taxpayer money for their quadrennial presidential conventions. In other words, they have stacked the deck to preserve the influence of the political class.
2006-02-20 02:27:43 PM  
it's only a matter of time before this evil mother farker repeals the 22nd amendment somehow.
2006-02-20 02:28:09 PM  
Gosling: By that standard, MWeather, I would not be comfortable having a head of state, period.

Why not? Isn't just such a scenario why we have limited powers, checks and ballances, etc?
2006-02-20 02:28:15 PM  
Line Item is a good idea, I have noticed other people use the scenario of a president using it to get what he wants from congress for letting their pork go trough. But I disagree isn't half of the pork being vetoed better than none...Line Item Veto is a must for any president..

//wanted it for Clinton as well
2006-02-20 02:28:32 PM  
He said it and a movement to curb lawmakers' appetite for special projects, or earmarks, would provide a one-two punch in reducing government spending.

Um, there are certain things I want the government to do rather than to be left up to private groups. Government spending is not necessarily a bad thing, without it we wouldn't have public education, scientific research, a powerful military, highways, or police.

"We need for the president, whether a Republican or a Democrat, to have the ability to cut out the junk, hold Congress accountable and keep spending under control," Kennedy said.

Depends on what you call junk. I think Bush would likely cut out some stuff I'd rather keep. But then again, maybe not. unfortunatly the only way to know is to give him the power and see what he does with it.
2006-02-20 02:29:04 PM  
Yeah, but it's hard to have a conversation that Godwinizes itself before it even gets off the ground.

Besides, to most Americans, Hitler was just some kooky nutjob in Europe that we put down like a rabid dog. (I know, not totally accurate). Bush isn't as bad, but he'd make a better cautionary reminder because we put him in power ourselves. Nobody ever worries about giving power to an American Hitler because this is America! We'd _never_ put someone that crazy into office, right?

Hard enough to learn from your own nation's mistakes, expecting people to learn from someone else's is pushing it.
2006-02-20 02:29:13 PM  
While we're talking about changes to the Constitution, how about an amendment requiring that a state can't receive more than 25% in Federal funds above what was collected from them in taxes? Alaska receives somewhere in the range of $1.80 for every dollar collected from them in Federal income taxes. Pro rate the remaining 55 cents among the (overwhelmingly Blue) states receiving less than a dollar back for every dollar collected, or apply it to the National Debt. Let the red states find out what it's like to be treated by the Feds the same way the blue states, otherwise known as responsible taxpayers, are.

Also, there should be a constitutional amendment barring anyone more closely related than a third cousin (or by marriage) to any sitting president of the last 50 years from running for the presidency. I never want to have to deal with another President Kennedy, Bush or Clinton as long as I live.
2006-02-20 02:31:38 PM  
2006-02-20 12:17:37 PM Dancin_In_Anson
My understanding is that this would need to be applied in the form of Constitutional Amendment.

Mine as well. Is that what Bush is calling for? An amendment?
2006-02-20 02:32:55 PM  
Best part about threads like this is watching all the leftists idiots that run in spouting off about Bush having too much power and that this is a reduction of civil liberties, and it's going to lead to nuclear war and annihilation blah blah puke...

When in fact they haven't even read the article(if they are even capable of comprehending it) and don't have a clue what this whole issue is really about.
2006-02-20 02:34:58 PM  
I agree that the pork has got to go, but the line-item veto solution is like using a nuke to kill a germ. With a line-item veto, the minority party is essentially castrated.

Would you people REALLY trust a guy like Bush with this power?
2006-02-20 02:37:09 PM  
When in fact they haven't even read the article(if they are even capable of comprehending it) and don't have a clue what this whole issue is really about.

Poppen works for George Bush.
So he's really getting a kick out of these replies.......
2006-02-20 02:38:36 PM  
If I were a loyalist, I would say worry more about your offices than the individuals within them.

This is a lame duck president. Therefore, this is a
a very standard effort to boost polling numbers of incumbent Congressmen by making them appear as spinefully middle-of-the-road as possible. The Party is worrying about its future, not its present.
2006-02-20 02:39:56 PM  
Your rapier wit is razor sharp, Poppen. Woe be to the fools who would dare cross intellects with you.
2006-02-20 02:40:31 PM  

I never want to have to deal with another President Kennedy, Bush or Clinton as long as I live.

Here! here!
2006-02-20 02:41:18 PM  
Mr_Fabulous: Mine as well. Is that what Bush is calling for? An amendment?

Dunno. But the SCOTUS decision left no wiggle room:

"Our duty is clear," proclaimed Justice John Paul Stevens in the 6-3 decision Clinton v. City of New York. Presidents may only sign or veto entire acts of Congress, the Court said, and can't pick and choose which parts they like. "There is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the President to enact, to amend, or to repeal statutes,"

It was an odd alliance that joined Stevens in striking down the line-item veto in 1998: then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In dissent were Justices Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer.
2006-02-20 02:42:40 PM  
doesn't money control politics? basically whatever lobbyist can give a legislator the most money gets first consideration or the best treatment? so why can't we put more stringent guidlines on what can be given to legislators (gifts, campaign contributions, dinner, drinks). would this not cut down on pork or am i way off base?
2006-02-20 02:42:46 PM  
2006-02-20 02:43:15 PM  

Hey dipshiat. It's about screwing around with the checks and balances that have kept this country running for over 2 centuries now. Excuse me for considering the worst-case scenario of having an incompetent, rabidly partisan president who can be safely counted on to abuse any power granted to the office. As luck would have it, we have a case study in action right now...

Is it really a coincidence that in 5 years the only time the word "veto" escaped Bush's mouth was when it came to putting an end to one of his own pet policies? And that this noise about an already-declared-unconstitutional power only came after he was forced into officially giving it up?

Or are you just being completely thick and claiming that "too much concentrated power" has never brought nations and governments into violent ruin? Wouldn't surprise me.
2006-02-20 02:43:47 PM  
My source...Sorry for the omission...
2006-02-20 02:44:58 PM  

I never want to have to deal with another President Kennedy, Bush or Clinton as long as I live.

I agree, I hate those 4am phone calls when they're drunk -- get me a pizza, fix my email, clean my dishes -- it gets old real fast. From now on I vow to deal only with vice presidents.

Then again...
2006-02-20 02:48:46 PM  
Zymurgist:Politicians stack the deck by requiring large numbers of signatures for ballot access. They also appropriate large sums of taxpayer money for their quadrennial presidential conventions. In other words, they have stacked the deck to preserve the influence of the political class.

This is crap. Libertarians have been on the presidential, House and Senate ballots for many elections now. You zombies/sheep/idiots just dont vote for them.

You want change. You want freedom from government. You want personal responsibility. You want your paycheck back. You want your bedroom back. You want the US out of other countries business. You want the problems that are HERE solved. You want to cut government spending and waste. Its right there in front of you.
Why are you incapable of taking it?
2006-02-20 02:52:19 PM  
Doesn't this come up about every two years? I don't think anyone is going to convince the Congress to hand over part of their power to the President nor should they. There's three distrinct branches of government for very good reasons.
2006-02-20 02:52:45 PM  
Also, if lobbyists couldn't get rediculous amounts of money in the form of campaign contributions wouldn't this level out the playing field and get some more viable 3rd party candidates out there. I'm sure repubs and dems would hate this because when they run now they only have to worry about one opponent. We might also get some down to earth people who know what the average joe has to deal with into some powerful offices.

/yeah i know that would be a horrible scenario
2006-02-20 02:53:52 PM  


Don't let the president have the ability to cut out all the bullshiat stuff in a spending package. We, as taxpayers, appreciate all the extras we have to fund year after year after year...

Right, and Bush is such a trustworthy individual, that I would completely trust him to use this power responsibly and not abuse it. Bush is such a trustworthy individual. I would trust him with anything, because he can always be trusted to look out for the best interests of corporations the middle class. And always follows up his promises with actions that back up his promises.

And if Hillary Clinton was elected president, I'm sure you would all love for her to have this power, as well as the power to tap your phone, and kidnap your family members and fly them down to Guantanamo to be tortured freedom-tickled.
2006-02-20 02:57:21 PM  

Hear, hear. I hear people say they only voted Dem/Rep because they don't want the other to win and I get awfully tired of telling them that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

Don't want to throw your vote away? Man, if you voted for someone you don't want to win, you _have_ thrown it away.

I was kinda hoping that in the face of Republican SNAFUs, the DNC would try to get the four biggest 3rd parties involved. It's a safe bet that the RNC would lose more votes to the Libertarian and Constitution parties than the Dems would lose to the Greens and Naderites.

No matter what, this sick duopoly has to go.
2006-02-20 02:58:27 PM  
rodr3: This is crap. Libertarians have been on the presidential, House and Senate ballots for many elections now

Yes, because they have the budget to hire people to gather signiatures and lawyers to interpret the 50 different standards for ballot access. The problem is that doesn't leave much money for actual campaigning.
2006-02-20 02:59:08 PM  
This is why I like line item veto:

Bill to increase school spending has 1 million added for slave resitiutions.

President doesn't want the rider, line item vetoes it.

Without line item veto, he has to veto the whole bill. Then his opponents claim he's anti-education cause he vetoed the bill, even though he only wanted the rider to go.

The reason why I DON'T like line item veto is because it gives the prez a lot of power.
2006-02-20 02:59:27 PM  
I'd like to see Bush given some sort of convincing fake go ahead just to see what exactly he'd veto.

There's not been a president since Washington that I'd trust with the line item veto. Washington? Nah, he can't have it either.
2006-02-20 03:00:30 PM  
The Damned

You foolish Americans. When will you learn that a two-party system is your doom. Your doooom! YOUR DOOOOOOOM!

/we have, like, eighteen parties here
//I don't like any of them

We Americans have the ability to change our course and often do when its in our own interest. This debate is one example. Our economy is a good example of our strength through flexibility. We also demonstrate this ability though the military. Its has changed in size and strength and technology many times.

If you think we are doomed simply because we have a 2 party system, place your bets. There are plenty of US stocks and bonds to put your money where your mouth is.
2006-02-20 03:00:33 PM  
I thought he already had that power in his signing statements?
Like the McCain anti-torture bill where he just wrote on it "does not apply to me" and McCain and the rest applauded his disdainmanship.
2006-02-20 03:11:32 PM  
All this talk of pork is making me hungry.
2006-02-20 03:18:04 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2006-02-20 03:24:40 PM  
So bush ould then just veto everything in the bill except for the patriot 'ilegal' act and the war in iran ,iraq or where ever the heck they is getting americans killed.
2006-02-20 03:25:01 PM  

Line Item Veto is a must for any president

Only one president in history had it, and even for him, it was soon ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So I guess I'm not seeing how it's "a must for any president".
2006-02-20 03:25:31 PM  
sfphinkter has it absolutely correct. If Congress attaches bull crap to the end of a bill like pork or whatever, then the President has one of several options:
1. Veto the bill, send it back and test congress to get a 2/3 majority
2. Sign the bill as is
3. Put the bill in his desk and forget about it. Without a signature before the session ends the law becomes null and Congress has to rewrite it. This is a stall tactic to give the admin time to find a better compromise with Congress.

Line items are unconstitutional because it gives the president the power of congress to rewrite legislation. THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT HAVE THAT POWER.

NOR SHOULD HE. The veto and 2/3 majority are specifically designed to force compromise, or to kill poor legislation that doesn't have the support of two out of three branches. And SCOTUS review is the third check on laws that have that approval but are wholly inconsistent with the Constitution.

Bottom line: Congress won't give another president the line item without an Amendment. Those are so hard to pass that it isn't going to happen. Especially when you factor in the state legislatures, who need 3/4 to approve an amendment. They aren't going to approve an amendment that would give presidents the power to slash pork for the states. They'd be losing out on money.

Better suggestion is to pass a "same topic" law.
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