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Appropriations

December 23, 1987

In his zeal for jamming the legislative process for appropriations by the House of Representatives, David Broder (Op-Ed Page, Dec. 14) loses his sense of balance and perspective about spending legislation. He would allow Ronald Reagan the same stultifying power he had as governor whereby any item he chose was vetoed, requiring a two-thirds vote to pass over his veto.

The Constitution stipulates that all tax and spending bills originate in the House of Representatives. It allows the President to approve or disapprove as he desires, but it also allows for the legislature to override a veto with a two-thirds majority. Any time a bill could be subjected to a piecemeal veto that could only be reversed by a two-thirds vote, the balance of functional power in taxing and spending shifts to the executive and the branches of government cease to be co-equals.

This may please Broder and Reagan but I fail to see what they have in common. To put tax and spending initiatives of the legislature in a line-item straitjacket is to nullify the constitutional separation of powers.

W.E. WATSON

Santa Ana

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