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Line Item Veto

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By David M. Shribman | August 14, 1997
WASHINGTON -- With the simplest of acts -- the mere movement of a pen across several sheets of paper Monday -- the most ancient balance of power in the American political system has been altered, maybe forever.President Clinton's exercise of the line-item veto -- the first time any president ever used that power -- did more than reject a tax break for sugar beets, kill a Medicaid spending provision aimed at New York state and fill a loophole designed to benefit overseas operations of financial institutions.
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NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2012
Anne Arundel voters passed all 15 county charter amendments on Tuesday's ballot, most by a landslide. Among the changes are new rules for removing elected officials from office and a slight shift in the balance of power between the county executive and the County Council. Compared with state ballot questions that drew record ad spending and addressed the controversial issues of gay marriage, gambling and immigration, Anne Arundel's bevy of local questions seemed to be overlooked, Council Chairman Derek Fink said.
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NEWS
By Charles Levendosky | February 18, 1998
FOR the second time in less than a year, a federal judge has struck down the Line Item Veto Act. This time, the act is down and out for the 10-count. And it should be.In drafting this act, Congress dumped its constitutional responsibility into the waiting hands of the president. And any president who wields the line-item veto with skill has a grip on Excalibur, the weapon and power of a king.The Line Item Veto Act became effective Jan. 1, 1997. It allows the president, after signing a bill into law, to "cancel in whole" any item of new direct spending (including entitlement payments to state and local governments or individuals)
EXPLORE
December 20, 2011
The following is the complete text of Harford County Executive David R. Craig's statement Friday about his veto that will keep some school employees from getting bonuses approved by the Harford County Council Dec 13: "In light of recent statements issued by the Harford County Education Association (HCEA), and its intent to subvert actions of this administration and the County Council to issue a one-time bonus to Harford County Government and Board of Education employees, I will be exercising power granted to me by Section 311 of the Harford County Charter to issue a line item veto on Bill 11-54 As Amended to strike the fund appropriation to the Board of Education.
NEWS
By Tom Teepen | August 20, 1997
ATLANTA -- The pig mongers would have us know from their TV commercials that pork is the new white meat. Maybe, but political pork emphatically remains the same old red meat to politicians.Not to deny virtue its moment, but President Clinton's preening over the first-ever presidential line-item veto was -- well, to persist in a metaphor that is beginning to go bad, hogwash.The president declared the dawn of a new era of fiscal prudence with the advent of a veto that lets presidents blue-pencil spending items they think untoward.
NEWS
April 1, 1996
MORE THAN 120 YEARS after a line item veto was first proposed, Congress has at last voted to surrender an important part of its budgetary powers to the presidency. Beginning next year, the chief executive will be able to pencil out items in big spending bills he opposes without rejecting the entire measures. Equally important, he can resist new health and retirement entitlements and special interest tax breaks affecting fewer than 100 people.For years, starting with the New Deal, Americans favored higher spending for popular programs they associated with a benign government.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | April 28, 1998
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court raised the prospect yesterday that President Clinton will be able to use the line-item veto for another year, even though its constitutionality is immersed in deep doubt.With signs of sympathy among the justices, a Clinton administration lawyer argued that none of the challengers to the veto power has actually suffered any harm from a veto, so the present challenge should be thrown out of court.However, Solicitor General Seth P. Waxman encountered strong skepticism from more than a majority of the justices when he tried to defend the veto's constitutionality.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Jonathan Weisman and Lyle Denniston and Jonathan Weisman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 26, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Nullifying a historic experiment aimed at cutting budget deficits, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional yesterday the 2-year-old line-item veto law that allowed the president to delete individual items from spending and tax bills he has already signed into law. The law, long advocated by presidents but used only by one -- Clinton -- fell by a 6-3 vote. The court said the law ran counter to the procedure laid down in the Constitution for enacting laws.
NEWS
By CHARLES LEVENDOSKY | June 30, 1998
PRESIDENT Clinton lost one and won one at the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. The line item veto law was struck down. And the court upheld the principle that death does not unravel the confidentiality of communication between attorney and client. The American people won in both cases.Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion for a court divided 6-3 in the line item veto case. Justice Stevens focuses solely on the presentment clause of the Constitution: "Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the president of the United States; if he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with objections to that House in which it shall have originated.
EXPLORE
December 20, 2011
The following is the complete text of Harford County Executive David R. Craig's statement Friday about his veto that will keep some school employees from getting bonuses approved by the Harford County Council Dec 13: "In light of recent statements issued by the Harford County Education Association (HCEA), and its intent to subvert actions of this administration and the County Council to issue a one-time bonus to Harford County Government and Board of Education employees, I will be exercising power granted to me by Section 311 of the Harford County Charter to issue a line item veto on Bill 11-54 As Amended to strike the fund appropriation to the Board of Education.
NEWS
January 29, 2010
On way back to Washington Updated 1:39 p.m. President Obama, having taken questions from Republicans for 30 minutes longer than scheduled, is now on his way to Washington. First a quick motorcade to Fort McHenry (more blocked traffic), and then a chopper ride back to the White House. Check baltimoresun.com and tomorrow's print edition for full details of the president's visit. By Paul West Obama: Both parties to blame for 'sour climate' Updated 1:34 p.m. President Barack Obama is getting an earful from House Republicans who say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has shut them out of the decison-making process.
NEWS
June 28, 2009
At the end of a protracted budget battle with the City Council, Mayor Sheila Dixon took a rarely used - and legally questionable - step to get her way. Unhappy that the council trimmed funds from the inspector general's office, Ms. Dixon announced that she would use a line-item veto to reverse the cut. The city's charter does give the mayor the right to use a line-item veto to reverse an "appropriation" made by the City Council, but employing that power...
NEWS
By STEVE CHAPMAN | October 19, 2007
CHICAGO -- Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani have many differences and something in common: Each governed a liberal place, and each, while in office, often sided with liberals on particular issues. They are both making the presidential campaign more entertaining through strenuous but unconvincing attempts to live down those youthful indiscretions. Lately, they have been arguing over the line-item veto, which lets a president excise individual spending programs without killing an entire bill.
NEWS
By MARNI GOLDBERG and MARNI GOLDBERG,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | June 23, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Under pressure from the recent growth in spending and federal deficits, the House approved yesterday a measure that would give President Bush a line-item veto. Republicans said it would help him slash wasteful spending and delete expenditures for specific projects from bills. Congressional Republicans have been facing demands from fiscal conservatives in their party to rein in federal spending, which has grown rapidly with the GOP controlling the White House and Congress.
NEWS
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS,SUN REPORTER | June 22, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Rob Portman, President Bush's new budget chief, still practices his kayaking moves in the House of Representatives' pool. The former Cincinnati congressman still catches himself during meetings on Capitol Hill referring to lawmakers as "we." But his office is at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue now and, despite his roots in the legislative branch, he's squarely on the president's side of a battle between the White House and Congress over the power of the purse. The House is to weigh in on the issue today with a vote on Bush's bid to resurrect the line-item veto, which would allow the president to reach into spending bills and single out items for removal, putting lawmakers' most prized prerogative - their ability to secure federal money, or earmarks, for their districts - in peril.
NEWS
By STEVE CHAPMAN | March 13, 2006
CHICAGO -- In the last five years, the federal budget has done a good impression of major-league sluggers, bulking up to such frightful proportions as to be almost unrecognizable. Baseball responded to the excess girth by cracking down on steroids. President Bush, however, wants to try stomach-stapling. Last week, he urged Congress to give him a line-item veto so he can "reduce wasteful spending." In reality, he's about as likely to cut spending as he is to give the next State of the Union address in Aramaic.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2012
Anne Arundel voters passed all 15 county charter amendments on Tuesday's ballot, most by a landslide. Among the changes are new rules for removing elected officials from office and a slight shift in the balance of power between the county executive and the County Council. Compared with state ballot questions that drew record ad spending and addressed the controversial issues of gay marriage, gambling and immigration, Anne Arundel's bevy of local questions seemed to be overlooked, Council Chairman Derek Fink said.
NEWS
By George F. Will | August 28, 1996
CHICAGO -- Here is a measure of the emptiness of politics during Bill Clinton's purely tactical presidency: The delegates who will rock the rafters for him tomorrow night have only varying degrees of hostility for the only truly significant things -- there are only three of them -- he has done.Democrats are the party of government, so a majority of Democrats in Congress opposed NAFTA. A Republican initiative, it decreases the importance of government by increasing the sovereignty of economic forces over political choices.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 7, 2006
WASHINGTON -- President Bush asked Congress yesterday to give him limited authority to veto individual items in spending measures, resurrecting a top priority of fiscal conservatives. Expressing optimism that the measure would win congressional approval and pass court tests, the White House said its proposal took into account objections the Supreme Court had raised in 1998 when it said a version of the veto provision signed two years earlier by President Clinton was unconstitutional. In Congress, however, the outcome was less certain than presented by the White House.
NEWS
By CHARLES LEVENDOSKY | June 30, 1998
PRESIDENT Clinton lost one and won one at the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. The line item veto law was struck down. And the court upheld the principle that death does not unravel the confidentiality of communication between attorney and client. The American people won in both cases.Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion for a court divided 6-3 in the line item veto case. Justice Stevens focuses solely on the presentment clause of the Constitution: "Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the president of the United States; if he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with objections to that House in which it shall have originated.
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