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Line Item Veto

During the Clinton Administration a law was passed allowing for the President to strike out sections of a bill before signing it.  The purpose was to eliminate earmarks (also known as pork) added by Representatives and Senators to bills, particularly the Appropriations Bill.  It was used to eliminate these earmarks by President Clinton until it was struck down by the Federal Courts as unconstitutional.  The action of the court was proper because it was a reallocation of power from the Legislative to the Executive Branch.  Such allocations are the province of the Constitution alone.

The effect of line item veto can be attained without violating the Constitution

One approach calls for Bills to be reviewed by the President who can strike out the earmarks.  The President may veto the Bill but return a copy with earmarks struck.  Congress would then have the option of  passing the altered Bill in both houses and send it back to the President for signature if passed.   Such a procedure would not violate the Constitution.

An alternative procedure which I favor is the following:  After passage by both houses of Congress, an evenly divided bipartisan committee from both Houses of Congress identifies and strikes out earmarks in the Bill.  The altered bill is sent back to both Houses for passage on an (as is) up or down vote.  It is then sent to the President for signature (or veto) if passed.

Ohio was 44th in the amount of earmark funding received.

My proposals for promoting simple and concise language and implementing document configuration control of bills will make it harder for Congressmen and members of their staff to hide earmarks.