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Do you support the concept of a line item veto?

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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:12 PM
Original message
Poll question: Do you support the concept of a line item veto?
I believe in fiscally responsible government, and think the line item veto might be a tool to help achieve more fiscally responsible government. The way I envision it, line items vetoed by a (preferably Democratic) President would be sent back to the Congress for votes on the individual items, so all legislatures would be on record for what items they are voting to spend our hard-earned dollars on. What do you think of this idea and why?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree about line-item veto, but expect it can't be sold across the spectrum
until we get a president more people trust in office wielding that power for the first time.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I agree. Putting any more power in shrubs hands is scary.
I certainly don't envision it happening before 08'. As far as the executive power issue, though, it seems to me that since the congress would ultimately vote (the way I envision it) on anything line-item vetoed, the congress would still retain their power, they would just be more accountable and government would be more open.
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
38. And when the President you "trust" leaves office...
...and another blivet is elected?

No, the Founders split up the power to propose budgets and the power to approve budgets for a very good reason.

What's needed to address the porkfest that has swollen our national debt is an "amendment qualification" rule for the House, in which members can NOT attach funding-related amendments that are not essential to the bill's stated purpose. That, plus a "floor debate" rule for every bill that involves extra-budget dollar allocations above a set threshhold.

Those rule changes would eliminate a huge proportion of pork, without hosing the Constitution and giving future blivets a chance to subvert Congressional intent even more than the current one.

And there WILL be future blivets.

realistically,
Bright
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. O.K., everybody voting "no" please tell me why I'm wrong. nt
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MGD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Too much power and it's unconstitutional. nt
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I understand the "too much power" arguement. How is it unconstitutional? nt
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. The Supreme Court says so.....
Supreme Court Deletes Line-Item Veto
Clinton disappointed; Opponents of veto call it a victory for the Constitution

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 25) -- The line-item veto is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court decided Thursday, ruling that Congress did not have the authority to hand that power to the president.
Line Item Veto

The 6-3 ruling said that the Constitution gives a president only two choices: either sign legislation or send it back to Congress. The 1996 line-item veto law allowed the president to pencil out specific spending items approved by the Congress.

In his majority opinion Justice John Paul Stevens upheld a lower court's decision, concluding "the procedures authorized by the line-item veto act are not authorized by the Constitution."

If Congress wants to give the president that power, they will have to pass a constitutional amendment, Stevens said. "If there is to be a new procedure in which the president will play a different role in determining the text of what may become a law, such change must come not by legislation but through the amendment procedures set forth in Article V of the Constitution," Stevens said.


http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/06/25/scotus.lineit...
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MGD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Yeah, that's pretty much it right there. Without an amendemnt, it's unconstitutional
Plus it's way way way too much power.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #21
34. Well, 3 justices including O'Conner said it was constitutional.
And constitutional ammendments can be a good thing, depending on the ammendment. However, I like another proposal I read where the President could not veto specific items in a bill, but make recommendations that certain items be cut, and congress would be required to vote on whether they agree or disagree with the recommendations. That way congress would be on record for specific spending items the President recommends cutting, but would not be ceding power to the President.

One way or another, we need to promote more accountability on the part of the Congress for specific spending items to regain fiscal sanity.
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #34
40. Three out of nine doesn't count. It's unconstitutional.
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 08:00 AM by charlyvi
Adding an amendment to the Constitution just to give the Executive branch even more power isn't wise. He can already make recommendations that certain items be cut; Presidents do that all the time, to their heart's content. He can veto the bill, he can send the bill back to Congress--as the Constitution states. As soon as you make Congress do anything at the power of the President, including go on record for specific spending items, you are ceding power to the Executive branch. You are injecting it in the law making process in a way the Constitution does not allow. I know what you're trying to get at, but Congress already has accountability to the voter. If you think your Congressperson is spending too wildly, vote him out as the Constitution demands. If the President thinks too much pork is in the appropriations bill, he can veto it. And probably earn the good will of millions of fiscal conservatives in the process. That's what the veto is there for.

On edit: Think back to the government shutdown, Clinton vs Gingrich. Clinton refused to sign the appropriations bill because it cut social spending too severely. Gingrich refused to let the House approve any continuing resolutions to let the government keep running. The Shutdown. Finally, after a couple of weeks, Gingrich gave in. Clinton's popularity did not suffer--Congress got the blame for the fiasco. To this day, Gingrich regrets shutting the government down. The point I'm making is, the President has an awesome power to affect Congressional fiscal policy under the Constitution as it stands, provided he has the courage to use it. He doesn't need anything else.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe a line-item veto would make sense in another era, but...
...we're in an era of the president getting more power (and more power, etc.)

I don't want yet another thing to make the president more powerful in this context.

Congress should control spending by requiring more records of which Rep. or Senator added an item to a bill and by putting into place a 3 week delay between the conference committee determining the final version of a bill and the House and Senate voting, again (for greater scrutiny.)
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Clearly, some boundaries should be established.
Democrats shouldn't be able to veto all military procurements (not that they would) and Repugs shouldn't be able to veto all social spending (you bet your ass they would).

However, when it comes to pet projects in individual districts, there should be some mechanism to get them deleted. That's where the country is bleeding to death, all those unnecessary bridges and roads, those projects to show a district that the Rep is bringing home the bacon.

Such a mechanism would have to be open to checks and balances. For instance, if only one party's pork got vetoed by the President from the same party, there has to be some sort of oversight. In any case, we need a way to tell the pork from the truly needed budget items and a way to eliminate the former.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. The last line item had that oversight. Whatever item get vetoed goes back
and gets revoted on, so there would be a chance that it would still pass.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think the line-item veto is justified if the provision vetoed does not have
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:19 PM by MJDuncan1982
a substantial relationship to the majority of the bill.

Example: Striking money for guns in a defense budget is not ok; striking funding for a new sports arena in Montana in a defense budget is ok.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. Why?
Why should bills be limited to certain subjects?
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #31
48. To cut down on pork. All things being equal it makes more sense to me. nt
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. I used to think this was a good idea, but I've chaned my mind.
Congress isto make the laws. They also have the ability to override a veto. Since we can never be sure what kind of person is going to be President, and I believe granting a line item veto would farther reduce the powers of Congress and move more to the Executive Branch. Far too much of that has happened already, and we sure don't need more!
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Flabbergasted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Agreed
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Donkeykick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Why...
have this sort of thing when all you need is to vote on one thing at a time? :shrug:
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. So you are proposing congress only be allowed to vote on one item at a time? nt
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Donkeykick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Why Not?
Are you aware that there are times that these people do not even have time to read the legislation? Maybe because it's to lengthy to start with.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. Because it's undemocratic.
If the majority supports a certain set of provisions, but would reject any one of them individually, why shouldn't it be capable of passing them all in one group?

Indeed, this is the whole notion behind democracy; conflicting interests are reconciled in pursuit of the general will.
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Donkeykick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #30
42. What would be so...
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 09:00 AM by Donkeykick
undemocratic about the process? Just because something has not come up for a vote yet, does not mean that it is going to be ignored.

(Example:congress votes to build a structure; then, later on, they vote on how much money they're going to spend on the project.)

If you believe that this process is undemocratic, I suggest that you call them, because this sort of thing happens all the time in DC.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. Yes, I am aware of that! How do you propose getting congress to behave? nt
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Donkeykick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. IMHO:
It's going to take a while to solve this.

Things like this--as well as others--have been going on in Washington now for a long time; it's only now that people have started to get upset about it.(Watch Lou Dobbs program--Broken Government)

Behavior? Well it starts with us--the American public.

(Example: during the year of 2004 in August, I was amazed on how many people that I encountered at my county fair that wasn't registered to vote. I told them that I would assist them with this process by just having them sit down and fill out a card. Do you know what the vast majority said? No! That's what. Now take under consideration that these people would not have to take this card in to the Board of Elections themselves--our group will do it! Also, they would not be out a postage stamp, either!)

And we need to change their (Congress) behavior?

First, in order to change their behavior, we have to change our own!

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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. That's a good point. It definitely starts with the American people be more engaged
in the political process. That's a big challenge.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. If it goes back to Congress
I'm against it because the Constitution says Congress spends the money, not the President. But I suppose if it goes back to the Congress for final approval, maybe. OTOH, it takes an awfully long time to get a budget passed as it is. The budget would have to come back too, because otherwise it wouldn't have Congressional approval. It's kind of confusing I think.
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. sure as long as it's my person in the WH, since it's not than no and since
it's no for partisan reasons it's no for no matter who gets in. The thought of Bush having even more power is just too scary.
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stonecoldsober Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. No way!
Example: The Democrats agree to a republican bill if they can attach an item that will moderate or make palatable the rest of the bill, and then the repuke president vetos the democrats item, passing the rest. Bush and the pubes would beat this like a drum all day long!
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. The President is the executive not the legislature
I think that the line item veto is a fundamental violation of seperation of powers.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. It undermines our power
Representative government becomes optional and flexibly doled out by the executive branch.
Given the fact that the ideology, and party of particular office is ever changing, the legislative branch is our best chance for stability and control of our own interests. It doesn't seem like it now, but we are in a truly unique period in history.
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
44. I agree. It shifts responsibility for legislative accountability from the voter to the President.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. Would support line-item veto if it deleted Republicans
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. No. (nt)
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Generic Brad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
24. They're as bad as signing statements
Don't trust them, don't want them, don't believe in them.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
25. Ah, now there's the fly in the ointment. Would you trust a Republican?
My state has it and the governor can be very creative, taking out individual letter and numbers. The Republicans thought it was great when we had a Republican governor, but now that we have a Democratic governor (Doyle) they are screaming like banshees about it. If you can't trust the other side to have it, you don't want it.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. Congress makes the law.
The President does not get to pick and choose from what Congress passes. Veto it or sign it (and obey it or contest it in the courts).
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
27. I did, until W was appointed to office
Now I can see that it could be a very bad thing in the wrong hands.

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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
28. I agree with liv on principle...
Assuming a reasonable, responsible president. When a bunch of pork gets added to an important bill at the 11th hour, he can strip it out.

However, I think even more important is an overhaul of the rules by which congress operates. The ability to slip unrelated amendments through on big bills is a travesty; it is a major contributor to 1)wasteful spending, and 2)lobbyist/congresscritter "overfriendly" relations.

The power brokers in congress - the controlling party "leadership" get to decide which amendments will be considered, which will just die. This is NOT "representative government"

We need a revamping of the entire mess. If it was a business, it would be out of business. Personally, I think the whole "majority party rules" thing should be scrapped. Seniority is of questionable validity as well. If the people of state "x" want to send a libertarian, or a green, to congress, that person should be able to function on behalf of the constituents, not be treated like blacks in the old south and told to go to the back of the bus, use separate washrooms!

so yes, line item veto is a possible partial remedy, but the problem should be solved at the source.



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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
29. No. It is a step towards autocracy, and is highly undemocratic.
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 01:22 AM by Unvanguard
If Congressmembers vote for an entire bill, but disagree with some of its provisions, the President has the power to eliminate the provisions for which they voted for the bill, yet nevertheless sign the other provisions - provisions they might have rejected were they to stand alone - into law.

The lack of a line item veto is also an important check on executive power.

In fact, were I in charge, I would eliminate the veto power entirely.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #29
36. What about Congress being required merely to vote on recommendations
made by the President that specific spending items be cut from a massive spending bill. Do you know that most spending bills are not even read by anyone in Congress?

If Congress simply votes on whether they agree with the recommendations, they would not be ceding power to the executive, but their actions would be more transparent, which would benefit the people.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #36
33. No, that doesn't work either.
If a majority of Congress opposes certain provisions of a bill, but without those provisions the bill would never have passed in the first place, to separate the bill into two is undemocratic.
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charlyvi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. The 2005 budget had 15877 earmarks, or pork items.
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 08:20 AM by charlyvi
Even if the President only recommended a revote on half, that's 7948 earmarks. Are you saying Congress should vote on them individually, or en masse? Would the President save all the earmarks favorable to his party, and just send back those unfavorable? How would Congress react in that case? This is not workable. Better that the President send the whole bill back telling them to cut the pork; then if they refuse, veto the bill. As he is currently allowed to do under our Constitution.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. Wow, it's even worse than I thought.
Congress needs to get it's act together.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
35. The tools are already in place for a fiscal responsible government.
If Congresspeople put too much pork in legislation, taxpayers get the opportunity to fire them every two years.

If a bill with too much pork lands on the president's desk, he doesn't need a line item veto, he can tell Congress the bill is dogshit and veto the whole thing.

Of course this is all predicated on having an electorate that actually cares and pays attention, but in the absence of a concerned voting public, a line item veto wouldn't really have any impact.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:56 AM
Response to Original message
37. No, because it makes one person's decisions about all others.
When a budget has been hashed out through Congress, many have worked on it and fashioned something they could live with. To give power to one person to override that is wrong.

It could make that person effectively a dictator, defunding anything he didn't agree with.

And in the hands of *, it would be a disaster.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
39. It would be the same as making Junior's signing statements legal.
Incredibly bad idea, for reasons stated upthread.
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
45. Only in the hands of a (real) Democratic POTUS.
I'm being honest. The idea of a Republican with line-item veto power scares me more than I can say.

TC
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
49. Unconstitutional.
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Infinite Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
50. No, this is why...
it eliminates and/or betrays compromise. Many times in Congress, the Republicans, for example, will support a Democratic addition to a bill under the condition that the Democrats support the bill. With a line item veto, it would be an enormous gamble and compromise would be effectively shut down because the bill would pass and then the Democratic additions would be vetoed out and the bill is still valid.

Further, more generally and from a Constitutional perspective, the president wouldn't be passing the same bill as the Congress passed.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
51. No
Instead we should have congresspeople that don't fill legislation with useless pork and a president that actually stands up to it.

I don't want Bush having a red pen being the editor of whatever bill he chooses.


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