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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vetoing pork

So the House of Representatives has voted to give the president the authority to line-item veto spending plans buried in larger bills that the president finds wasteful. After months of the White House exerting executive authority over most everything and neutering Congress in its wake, we finally have a public vote on something that, yes, further expands the president's authority. In this regard, the president leads a charmed life.

Of course, this vote would have been unnecessary if Congress had the guts to ban the types of spending presidents are apt to veto: those pork barrel projects most recently dubbed "earmarks.'' There's no reason for a "bridge to nowhere'' in Alaska or other infamous special-interest projects found on page 129 of 130-page bills. They serve little purpose other than to make members of Congress popular in their home districts. If something is worthy of federal funds, let it stand on its own.

2 Comments:

Anonymous NickFera said...

The problem I see in line-item veto power is that it allows governance without consensus and compromise. Without line-item veto, there is a natural suppressant to overdoing the pork-barreling. Legislators know, if they go too far, the whole bill could be killed. With line-item veto, legislators no longer have to discipline themselves to craft their bills with an element of compromise.

11:33 AM, June 27, 2006  
Blogger John said...

Problem. These aren't 130-page bills.

They're 1300 page bills.

9:56 PM, July 06, 2006  

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