View Poll Results: Pass a Line Item Veto Amendment to the US Constitution?

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  • Yes. Duh.

    22 73.33%
  • No. Congress is so reliable

    6 20.00%
  • I don't know. Thinking makes my brain hurt.

    2 6.67%
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Thread: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

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    How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Democrats try to brand earmarks as good
    Capitol Hill's top Democrats are making a full-throated effort to rebrand earmarks as good government, not a dirty word synonymous with pork-barrel hijinks.

    With President Obama's vow to clamp down on earmarks putting pressure on lawmakers to change their ways, congressional leaders have set out to educate voters about why they think Congress should direct dollars to districts or states for specific pet projects.

    "That there is something inherently evil, wicked or criminal or wrong with [earmarks], it's just not the case," said Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, noting that he earmarked millions of dollars in the pending omnibus spending bill for what he said were worthy projects in his home state.

    Mr. Durbin said lawmakers' pet projects are listed in the bill and exposed to public scrutiny, and that members of Congress know how to best spend taxpayer dollars in their districts and states.

    "Otherwise, what happens? We give the money to the agency downtown and they decide where to spend it," Mr. Durbin said on the Senate floor. "It isn't as if the money won't be spent. Oh, it will be spent. But it may not be spent as effectively or for projects that are as valuable."

    The refrain has been the same from other top Democrats, whether from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada or House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. Besides touting the merits of earmarks, these Democrats balked at Mr. Obama's announcement last week of a plan to reel in pork-barrel spending.

    Both Mr. Reid and Mr. Hoyer made clear that they thought it was out of Mr. Obama's constitutional jurisdiction.

    But the "power of the purse" argument does not belong only to congressional Democrats.

    When Republicans ran both chambers, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and his colleagues argued just as staunchly that they had both a constitutional right to direct spending and the knowledge of which projects in their districts and states are most worthy.

    But earmarks "don't go to the most critical and most important projects across the country" because they bypass the committee process and don't compete for funds with other priorities, said Steve Ellis, vice president of the nonpartisan watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
    Simply put, if a project is "important", then it doesn't need to be hidden inside a mega-page omnibus document no human being can read.

    If it's "important", first off, it needs to fit the limitations of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. 99.9999% of these earmarks do not.

    But if it is "important", then it should be able to stand up to a floor vote on it's own merits, and not depend on riding annonymously through congress because the bill being passed is ostensibly for something that does meet Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

    Anyway, the President should have the power to axe congress (not "ask") in it's never ending desire to waste taxpayer dollars on things the Constitution doesn't permit and that the voters in other states will never benefit from.

    Line item veto this stuff, and if any of it is worthwhile...let the whole congress override the veto on that item.

    Ain't complicated, ain't difficult, and our new Messiah promised he'd eliminate earmarks....and getting that amendment passed is the only possible way he can do it.

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Meh, the more I think about it, the less I like the line-item veto. I think it would just encourage partisanship and extremism. As it stands now, congressmen are occasionally willing to cross party lines to work out compromises on important issues. If a president had the ability to keep the parts of bills that he liked and veto the parts that he didn't like, then it would discourage members of the opposition party from ever working with him on anything.
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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    No to the line item veto amendment, yes to an anti-mega page omnibus legislation amendment.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    The thing about the line item veto is, would congress have the ability to override the LI-Vetos when they occur?

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    I say no.At first I thought how it would be a good that instead of turning away a bill the president could just mark off the **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest. However the key words of that is "he can mark off any **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest", that's a double edge sword. For example if they do a so-called immigration compromise,the president could just knock out any enforcement provisions,knock out any limits imposed and knock out any pay minimums for hiring foreign workers, but keep the amnesty,keep the tax payer funded immigration assistance,make it easier for employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans or vise versa.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-09-09 at 07:36 PM.
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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Meh, the more I think about it, the less I like the line-item veto. I think it would just encourage partisanship and extremism.
    As opposed to today, where the unnecessary bailout bill is called "bi-partisan because only 3 republicans voted for it in both Houses, and where the minority political party has absolutely no influence on the committee or any hope of getting amendments passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    As it stands now, congressmen are occasionally willing to cross party lines to work out compromises on important issues.
    In exchange for pork barrel projects that someone in some other state gets to pay for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If a president had the ability to keep the parts of bills that he liked and veto the parts that he didn't like, then it would discourage members of the opposition party from ever working with him on anything.
    You mean it would restore the purpose of legislation, ie, staying inside the Constitution and focusing on the matters at hand?

    Porkbarrel politics...it's how the government crashed the economy.

    That's a good reason to be done with it, isn't it?

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I say no.At first I thought how it would be a good that instead of turning away a bill the president could just mark off the **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest. However the key words of that is "he can mark off any **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest", that's a double edge sword. For example if they do a so-called immigration compromise,the president could just knock out any enforcement provisions,knock out any limits imposed and knock out any pay minimums for hiring foreign workers, but keep the amnesty,keep the tax payer funded immigration assistance,make it easier for employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans or vise versa.
    Well, I'd suppose the line item veto would be applicable only to appropriations and expenditures, not other matters. I guess I didn't make that clear.

    It should only apply to spending provisions in a bill, to allow the execute the opportunity to hack out the pork.

    If a bit of ham is in there that the public wants, under a line item veto amendment it could be voted on by the whole House and Senate and the veto overridden.

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I say no.At first I thought how it would be a good that instead of turning away a bill the president could just mark off the **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest. However the key words of that is "he can mark off any **** he doesn't want and sign for the rest", that's a double edge sword. For example if they do a so-called immigration compromise,the president could just knock out any enforcement provisions,knock out any limits imposed and knock out any pay minimums for hiring foreign workers, but keep the amnesty,keep the tax payer funded immigration assistance,make it easier for employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans or vise versa.
    I don't know too much about LI-vetos so excuse my naivety in advance but:

    Does this mean, on an extremely loose understanding of this, that the president could do something like this:

    Anyone who doesn't have health care and makes under 50K a year qualifies for subsidized government health care.

    could be changed to:

    Anyone who doesn't have health qualifies for subsidized government health care program.

    Or would the president have to remove like the whole statue out. He can't just knick pick out certain words, right? Also, I thought that the president could only take out things that have been added after Congress voted on it, like during a compromise between the two branches of congress?
    Last edited by ladilala; 03-09-09 at 07:52 PM.
    My English is not always perfect, so please, try not to go nuts as I lack infallible grammar and spelling.

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Line item vetos and signing statments clearly violate the intention of the Founding Fathers and I would not support any official status for them, far less a constitutional ammendment. By picking and choosing what lines of a bill will be passed and attaching arbitrary qualifications to bills that Congress has passed is horrifically open to abuse and can completely change the intent of a law. I would like for Obama to take a stand against both practices, but I'm not holding my breath

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    Re: How's about a Line-Item-Veto Amendment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    As opposed to today, where the unnecessary bailout bill is called "bi-partisan because only 3 republicans voted for it in both Houses, and where the minority political party has absolutely no influence on the committee or any hope of getting amendments passed.
    Citing one example of a bill that was decided (mostly) on party lines does not change the fact that there are bills that ARE bipartisan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    In exchange for pork barrel projects that someone in some other state gets to pay for.
    Sometimes. But sometimes there are genuine compromises involved too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    You mean it would restore the purpose of legislation, ie, staying inside the Constitution and focusing on the matters at hand?
    I'm not sure what you're mean. You're arguing in favor of an amendment to the Constitution on the grounds that we need to stay inside the Constitution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    Porkbarrel politics...it's how the government crashed the economy.
    That's ridiculous. Earmarks account for much less than 1% of federal spending.
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