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Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chair, when this body last considered legislation to institute a ``line-item veto'' during the 109th Congress, I joined 171 of my colleagues in voting against it. Today, we again find ourselves considering a similar measure, and, once again, I rise in opposition to this latest attempt to abdicate our responsibilities, H.R. 3521, the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2011.

This legislation alters dramatically the balance of power that the framers so delicately established. It is an abdication of our responsibilities as Members of Congress. The separation and balance of governmental powers must be kept. We have heard proponents of this measure come to the floor and speak about how this bill provides us with another tool to ensure that we are spending taxpayer funds sensibly. Why do we need another tool in our toolkit, Mr. Chair? I would argue that if we are seeking ways to cut the deficit, let's do it by sending appropriate spending bills to the President's desk. We are not missing a tool in our toolkit; we are missing the political will to come together as members of this body to produce spending bills that accomplish this goal without prompting from The White House. If indeed political will is missing, this ``line item veto'' will not be the way to find it.

Furthermore, this measure puts us in danger of losing funding for good programs in the midst of partisan bickering. Funding for International Family Planning, funding for public transportation's funding for the arts or any of countless valuable items in our country, could be jeopardized if this legislation is enacted and the political climate is such that the President has other ideological views.

There is no evidence and no good reason to believe that this will actually succeed in reducing wasteful spending. Again, I would urge my colleagues to work together and produce common sense legislation that terminates wasteful programs and evaluate both our revenues and our spending to put our budget back on the right track. We have done it in the past and I believe that it is possible for us to do it again. I urge my colleagues to oppose this measure.

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