Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today voted for a line-item veto measure that would give the President and Congress an important tool in the fight against wasteful federal spending. The bill is part of a series of budget reform bills recently passed by the U.S. House to bring more transparency, accountability and fiscal restraint to federal budget process.
"The expedited line-item veto reform bill will give the President and members of Congress a sharp cutting tool necessary to root out waste, fraud and abuse in the congressional spending process," Lance said. "Passage of this bill builds upon recent efforts by the U.S. House to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington through reforming the federal budget system."
The "Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act" (H.R. 3521), which passed the House by a vote of 254 to 173, allows the President to pick out specific items in annual spending bills for elimination. Currently, the President must sign or veto spending bills in their entirety. The President's choices for removal would then have to be approved by Congress. Congressman Lance is an original cosponsor of H.R. 3521.
Congress has made several efforts in the past to enact line-item veto bills, and in 1996 succeeded in giving the authority to President Bill Clinton. But two years later the U.S. Supreme Court struck the law down as unconstitutional.
Lance believes the bill, which now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration, meets constitutional standards.
"The Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Recessions Act rightfully retains Congressional control of spending, as the Constitution dictates under the Presentment Clause, by requiring an expedited up or down vote by Congress," Lance added.
Congressman Lance noted that the New Jersey State Constitution contains a line-item veto that has worked to the benefit of the taxpaying public since the enactment of the 1947 New Jersey State Constitution.
"This measure is not going to be the only solution necessary to fix Washington's broken budget process, but it does put forth an important fiscal tool to help slow the growth of our Nation's debt," the Seventh District lawmaker concluded.