Line-Item Veto

Can it control wasteful federal spending?


Nearly a dozen presidents have sought the power to eliminate individual spending items from money bills approved by lawmakers. Now, the Republican-controlled Congress has given a modified line-item veto to a Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Signed last year, the new law authorizes the president to“cancel” any spending item after signing a bill into law. Clinton and congressional supporters in both parties say the procedure will help control wasteful spending, especially the kind of “pork-barrel”expenditures that individual members of Congress like to bestow on their districts. Opponents say the law will have little fiscal impact,and that it infringes on Congress' constitutional power over federal spending. A legal challenge is before the Supreme Court, which should rule on the case soon.

President Clinton signs the Line Item Veto ...

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