Line Item Veto Essay Research Paper When

Line Item Veto Essay, Research Paper

When the House passed the Line Item Veto legislation, in a strong bipartisan vote of 294-134, it

took great

strides toward assuring the American people that the purpose of government is to serve the needs of


Americans. It also indicated its intention to seriously address the budgetary problems created by

forty years of

elitist pork barrel arrogance by the majority party in Congress. Congressional approval will also take

away a

sinister political weapon, designed to distort the images presented to the people. Without the Line

Item Veto the

President was forced to either accept or reject any legislative proposal as it was written. Congress

learned the

trick of tacking on extra money for special projects, ones that usually helped fellow Representatives

or Senators

get reelected. In more blatant times they have actually increased Congressional salaries. In the article


example is cited by Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Michigan. Added to a bill to provide California !

earthquake relief

last year was $10 Million for a train station in New York and funds for sugar cane growers in

Hawaii. The

public is seldom aware of this ?extra? spending. Without the Line Item Veto the President must either

sign or

veto the bill with the pork attached. This ploy thus becomes a political weapon. If the President

vetoes it his

opponents can accuse him of not wanting to help Americans in need. U.S. Presidents since Ulysses

S. Grant

have all called for the Line Item Veto. In the article the new Speaker of The House was quoted as


?President after president has said it was something that would be good for America because it

would allow the

president to cut out some of the worst in spending.? Opposition to the Line Item Veto argues it

would tip the

balance of power too heavily toward the White House. Another point postulated by those

concerned suggest

the President could use this power to favor one politician over another by selective use in lining out


busting features of a given piece of legislation. This action, I feel, would stir such wrath of the

American voter, no

President would be willing to risk it. On the other hand, a weak president could use the Line Item

Veto to cut

spending and gain favor with the voters. Without the Line Item Veto the American taxpayer will be

subject to a

Congress more concerned with reelection than in serving the needs of the country. It is currently a

system rife

with corruption. The problem, as I perceive it, and I must admit there was no hint of it in the article I

read in the

Southern Illinoisan, is the nature of humanity. I contend human nature is such that is impossible to

have that many

people that close to power and in control of that much money for that long a period of time without

having some

form of corruption. All the values that make up the culture of America are at stake here and the

camps of special

interest on the subject break down to two: the American people and elected officials. The founding


would be repulsed that an issue like this would even be necessary. I?m certain they never envisioned

a Congress

with such a leaning toward their own special interest. Solutions are simple, pass the Line Item Veto

or allow the

current system to assist in driving the country into bankruptcy. Obviously the first solution is the one


and, with the recent turnover in Congress, we are going in that direction. Representative Bill Baker

of California

was quoted as saying, ?This week, we?re going to give the president, whoever the president is, the

tools to help

balance the budget.?


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