Today, Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) joined with his colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition in passing the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act (H.R. 3521) by a strong bipartisan vote of 254 to 173. This bill puts additional pressure on Congress and the President to work cooperatively to reduce wasteful government spending. Last March, Congressman Cardoza and the Blue Dogs endorsed similar legislation, arguing the measure is needed to help restore some fiscal discipline back to the federal government.
"To balance the budget and cut the deficit, we need to make tough choices," said Congressman Cardoza. "Cooperation between the President and Congress to eliminate wasteful spending is what taxpayers are demanding -- and what they deserve -- from their elected leaders."
H.R. 3521 would create an expedited process that would allow the President to sign an appropriations bill into law and at the same time propose to Congress that specific non-entitlement spending be rescinded, or "cut." The President would send his recommendations for rescissions to Congress within 45 calendar days, and legislation implementing the proposed cuts would receive an expedited up-or-down vote without amendment. If a majority in both the House and the Senate vote for the rescissions package, the spending cuts would become law.
This bill devotes all savings from the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act to deficit reduction and requires the statutory discretionary spending caps to be adjusted downwards to reflect the savings.
Expedited rescission is a key component of the Blue Dogs' 2010 Blueprint for Fiscal Reform -- a comprehensive, 15-point plan to balance the budget and lay the groundwork for sound fiscal policies over the long term.