(180) Critics have agreed with Justices Scalia, Breyer, and O'Connor that the Line Item Veto Act
did nothing more than delegate discretionary authority to the President.
While dysfunction and a failure of political will to cut spending do not justify unconstitutional remedies such as the Line Item Veto Act
, returning to a pre-1974 equilibrium where the President routinely exercises his judgment to trim defense pork would be advantageous for the Nation.
Line Item Veto Act
of 1996: Heads-up from the States.
The 1996 Line Item Veto Act
was premised on the belief that omnibus appropriations had thrown off the balance of powers between Congress and the President.(76) Nevertheless, by granting the President power to rescind discretionary appropriations, opponents of the measure warned that it would "take the appropriation process out of [Congress] ...
The Supreme Court held that the Line Item Veto Act
violated the Presentment Clause of Article I, Section 7.(27) According to the Court, that clause requires a President to veto an entire bill, not part of one, and he must do so before, not after, it becomes a law.(28) Additionally, the Court decided that the absence of any constitutional support for a partial cancellation authority."(29) amounted to an express prohibition of any such authority.
does not undermine our opinion that cancellations pursuant to the Line Item Veto Act
are the functional equivalent of partial repeals of Acts of Congress that fail to satisfy Article I, s.
The Line Item Veto Act
was not restricted to appropriations.
As discussed in the June issue of The World & I, Congress, being "unable to control its voracious appetite for `pork'" passed the Line Item Veto Act
authorizing the president to "cancel" certain spending provisions and tax benefits, collectively known as line items.
(The Supreme Court struck down the Line Item Veto Act
in June 1998 as unconstitutional.) The 1997 act extended the BEA procedures for several more years.
The enabling legislation of the Line Item Veto Act
is by no means comparable to a statute authorizing the president to not spend money for a particular project if technology or political conditions make the expenditure unwise at some point in time after the bill becomes law.
District Court for the District of Columbia put it, "unable to control its voracious appetite for `pork,' Congress passed the Line Item Veto Act
in 1996" authorizing the president to cancel certain spending provisions and tax benefits, collectively known as line items.
Grant have desired line-item veto authority, but President Clinton became the first to acquire it when the Line Item Veto Act