The New Line-Item Veto Proposal: Constitutional But Weak?
Yesterday, President Obama sent Congress a proposal to enact the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2010. The bill would authorize the president to request that Congress rescind items of newly enacted budget authority. Congress would then accept or reject the proposed rescission in a vote by both houses.
Because the bill would not give the president the authority to make actual changes to legislation, it does not seem to present any constitutional problems. This fact, however, might also make the measure a weak weapon against spending. The same Congress that passed the funding measure would then have to decide whether it approves the original legislation or it agrees with the president that the rescission should take place. Although I can imagine certain circumstances where a president could prevail, in most circumstances, I could easily see Congress simply affirming the original funding.