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Udall Continues Fight for Line-Item Veto: SLICE Bill Aims to Rein in Wasteful Federal Spending

Location: Washington, DC

UDALL CONTINUES FIGHT FOR LINE-ITEM VETO SLICE bill aims to rein in wasteful federal spending

Congressman Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs) today reintroduced legislation that would give the president the line-item veto authority to cut wasteful spending in the federal budget.

The bill, H.R. 595, the Stimulating Leadership in Cutting Expenditures (SLICE) Act of 2007, is similar to legislation Udall has championed for two years. It authorizes the president to identify specific items of federal spending that he thinks should be cut and requires Congress to vote on each of those items. Unlike the version of the line item veto that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998, SLICE is constitutional because it maintains Congress' power of the purse by requiring congressional approval of all the president's proposed cuts.

"The federal budget is awash in a sea of red ink and towering piles of debt. Since 2001, the budget surplus has been erased and our country in further in debt. I think it is immoral to pass this load of debt onto our children and grandchildren. My bill gives the president the power to cut wasteful spending from the federal budget and it would force Congress to debate those items on their merits," said Udall. "People in Colorado and across the country expect greater transparency and accountability from their elected officials and our decisions on spending. That is the purpose of this bill. It will promote both transparency and accountability, and Congress should pass it soon."

Last June, the U.S. House passed H.R. 4890, The Legislative Line-Item Veto Act of 2006, by a vote of 247-172. Udall was the chief Democratic cosponsor of the bill and worked with the White House to garner bipartisan support for it. In the end, 35 Democratic Members of Congress voted for the bill. Udall is cosponsoring similar legislation in the 110th Congress.

Also, earlier this year the U.S. House restored PAYGO rules which require that all tax cuts and programs to be paid for in order to stop any new deficit spending and it enacted earmark reform. Udall supported both measures and said that line-item veto legislation is still necessary to erase wasteful spending.

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