Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pass the Line Item Veto Amendment

If Obama and the Democrats are serious about restrained and responsible government spending they should pass a constitutional amendment to finally give the President the much needed line item veto power.

We need this today more than ever. I just read an article about how a few senators have modified a defense spending bill to appropriate $1.75 billion for outdated F-22 fighter jets that the President and the military don't want and consider wasteful. Why the spending? The jets are made in the senator's home states of course. Obama is now considering the unusual action of vetoing a bill that his own administration primarily wrote!

The president's not alone in opposing the change. He's also got the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, and his former GOP rival Sen. John McCain -- a war hero himself -- on his side.

But with jobs on the line, other senators are putting up a fight for the F-22.
Today most US state governors have the line item veto but sadly the President of the United States does not. Actually for a short time President Clinton did have this power and he used it 11 times. Bob Dole and John McCain introduced and passed the Line Item Veto act in 1996 but in 1998 it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a lawsuit against it by then NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani. A constitutional amendment or a modified version of the law is now needed to legalize it.

This power is over due and desperately needed. Now is the time to pass it. It would also happen to be a great way for Obama and the Democrats to fight the public's growing concerns over uncontrolled and wasteful government spending.