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Monday, September 26, 2005

The line-item veto: real Katrina relief

"At a time when the White House is being criticized by conservatives in its own party for taking too free-spending an approach toward hurricane relief, without suggesting any 'offsets' (or cuts to balance out the spending), a pair of Republican senators will give President Bush an opening by proposing a constitutional amendment to give him line-item veto power.

"Senators George Allen, R-Va., and Jim Talent, R-Mo., will make their announcement Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. EDT.

"In late November 2004, Bush asked for line-item veto power to enable him to reject particular spending items without having to veto an entire bill. Until now, there had been no movement on this on Capitol Hill. Bush has yet to cast a veto since coming to Washington. There was some speculation that he would veto the Highway Bill because the price tag came in above his declared limit, but he signed it anyway.

"In an interview that ran in the Wall Street Journal this morning, Bush budget director Josh Bolten again refused to identify any specific budget cuts to offset hurricane relief spending." ...

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