Friday, June 23, 2006

Line Item Veto Gets Past House

Congress passed by a 247-172 (not quite 4:3) margin a bill authorizing the President to eliminate spending or tax provisions with limited beneficiaries. Sponsor Paul Ryan (R-WI) originally designed the bill to cover any amendment with no more than 100 beneficiaries; the final result limited the veto to single-beneficiary provisions. The bill permits veto of certain direct spending as well as tax provisions. OMB Director Rob Portman hailed the bill as a valuable tool in controlling federal spending while John Spratt (D-SC) considered the bill somewhat two-faced in view of the estate tax reduction bill passed the same day.

My only problem with this bill is that I would have liked to have kept Ryan's original language on number of beneficiaries. It looks like this version should escape the constitutional problems with the first line-item veto legislation in the late 1990s; here the President only proposes recissions.


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