Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and John McCain (R-AZ) have “reintroduced legislation to give the president line-item veto authority to reduce wasteful spending,” according to a joint press release.
McCain, as well as Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), during the 111th Congress. President Obama called on Congress last year to pass line-item veto legislation, and the legislation reintroduced today is nearly identical to the president’s proposal. Cosponsors of the legislation include Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Scott P. Brown (R-Mass.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Daniel Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Ensign (R-Nev.), Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Key provisions noted in the release:
- Ensure timely congressional consideration of cuts in earmarks and other non-entitlement spending when requested by the president. This will enable the president to effectively propose the elimination of earmarks and other wasteful spending from legislation that arrives on his desk for signature and send them back to Congress for expedited votes on whether or not to rescind funding.
- Respect and preserve Congress’ constitutional responsibilities by requiring that both the House and Senate pass a rescission request before it can become law. If either the House or Senate votes against a rescission by a simple majority, it is not enacted.
- Require the president to submit expedited rescission requests to Congress within 45 calendar days of signing the initial spending bill into law.
- Limit the number of rescission requests per bill, to guard against gridlock in Congress due to multiple rescission proposals. Under this legislation, the president can propose one rescission package per ordinary bill, or two rescission packages for omnibus legislation. Each rescission request may include multiple spending cuts, but no single spending cut may be requested in more than one rescission bill.
- Sunset at the end of 2015, after two presidential administrations have had the opportunity to work with Congress to employ this tool to control spending. The sunset provision would give Congress the ability to review this legislation and decide whether to renew it.