Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold are teaming up again according to the news. This time they want to push for a line item veto. They've already had their one debacle with the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Now they want to get us again with a new topic.
The line item veto allows the President to veto parts of a bill but leave other parts in the bill. It takes some of the power and some of the responsibility away from Congress.
Let's say that Congress writes a bill that says everyone in this country must wear blue levi jeans at all times. As Congress is known to do on occasion (ahem) they add some amendments. Let's say one of those amendments is that ACORN gets $1 billion and let's also say that another amendment gives $1 billion to a Pro-Life group.
The bill passes the Congress. It goes to the President's desk and he looks it over. President Obama sees that money going for Pro-Life and veto's that line. But he doesn't veto the ACORN expense. The bill goes through. Let's also turn it around. Let's say that this happened while it was President Bush. ACORN would be veto'd and Pro-Life would remain.
Again, using the above example, if there is no line item veto, the President, regardless of which one it is, has to either veto the bill or sign it.
The line item veto takes away the responsbility from the Congress. The House will pass anything, but the Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body. They no longer have to deliberate anything. They can pass everything and let the sitting President take full responsibility for everything.
Each party, when they are in charge of the White House will love the bill, but when they are out, they'll complain about it. It reminds me abit of term limits. We have term limits in Michigan. Back when it was passed, the argument was that these people are in there too long and make a career out of it and their power gets to be too great. The downside, is that now we have inexperienced people that have no real long standing relationships to get things done. Which is what the people wanted to end. So what do we do? Change it back and then listen to the complaints of entrenched politicians or leave it and listen to the complaints of inexperienced people in office. We'll end up with the same problems with the line item veto.
In Obama's place, if he has the line item veto, every Democrat spending proposal will be passed. Every Republican cut in spending will be veto'd. The only hope then is that the veto can be reversed. Look at the numbers. Do you really think the Republicans can overturn a veto with the numbers they have? Or reverse it, do you really think that the Liberals could overturn a Bush veto with the numbers they had in the 90's and the first six years of the aughts?
Time could better be spent by a Conservative challenging John McCain in his re-election bid.
Your comments are welcome.