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House Of Representatives

May 27, 1993

Presidential Power to Veto Spending

The House passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 1578) bolstering presidential power to challenge line-item spending by Congress. Democratic sponsors touted the bill as a tool against waste. But Republicans denounced it as a weak imitation of the line-item veto long sought by fiscal conservatives (below). The bill allows the President to "veto" specific appropriations, with Congress required to vote to affirm the cuts before they can take effect. If Congress rebuffs the President, it can vote on its own cuts in the same accounts targeted by the President. If the congressional austerity bid also fails, the disputed spending would go forward as originally voted by Congress.

Sponsor John M. Spratt Jr. (D-S.C.) said the bill will "strengthen the budget process and the public's respect for how we spend their money."

But opponent Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.) countered, "Compared to a true line-item veto, this bill is little more than a wet noodle on a fast track to nowhere."

The vote was 258 for and 157 against. A yes vote supported the Democratic proposal.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Becerra (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x

Republican Plan for Line-Item Veto

The House rejected the GOP line-item veto plan, which differed from the Democratic approach (above) by making it much easier for the President to cancel specific appropriations sought byCongress. Republicans wanted presidential cuts to become law unless blocked by two-thirds majorities of both houses. The Democratic bill allows presidential cuts to be defeated by a simple majority of either house.

"The President (in his campaign) said that he wanted the line-item veto," said Steven H. Schiff (R-N.M.), a supporter of the bill. "I think we should give it to him."

Said opponent Spratt: "If you want a line-item veto, do it the right way, amend the Constitution. Don't pass a bill that won't pass constitutional muster."

The vote was 198 for and 219 against. A yes vote supported the GOP's line-item veto proposal.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Becerra (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x

Amendment on Special Interest Tax Breaks

By a vote of 257 for and 157 against, the House amended the GOP line-item veto measure (above) to give the President power to cancel special interest tax breaks as well as specific appropriations cleared by Congress. But the authority was later rejected along with the overall Republican proposal. A yes vote was to empower the President to cancel special interest tax breaks unless two-thirds majorities of both houses override the cancellation.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Becerra (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x

Where to Reach Them

Xavier Becerra, 30th District

2435 Colorado Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles 90041 (213) 550-8962

Carlos J. Moorhead, 27th District

420 N. Brand Blvd., Room 304, Glendale 91203 (818) 247-8445

Source: Roll Call Report Syndicate

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