Tuesday, May 25, 2010

President Obama Seeks New Line-Item Veto Power

According to the Washington Post, President Obama wants Congress to pass a new line-item veto statute. Although the article provides only a few details about the proposal, it seems that the president's plan would not really have much force. It is only a line-item veto symbolically.

Under the plan, the president would have 45 days to send a list of rescissions to Congress expressing disagreement with items in budget legislation. Congress would then have 25 day to accept or reject the rescissions.

In 1998, the Supreme Court invalidated a line-item veto statute enacted during the Clinton administration. That law allowed the president to strike spending or tax benefit provisions from duly enacted legislation. According to the Court, the law impermissably allowed the president to repeal legislation -- which violates the separation of powers doctrine. Obama's proposal, however, would not allow the president to strike any part of existing legislation, which should immunize it from judicial invalidation. But this fact also makes Obama's proposal fairly weak.

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