XXIX Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Auggie

Active member
The "Line Item Veto Act", was signed into law by Clinton in 1996(he used it 82 times). It originally gave the President the power to remove/veto any part of a bill passed by congress(pork barreling, line items, etc.). And, to decrease federal expenditures and combat wasteful spending. Without having to veto the entire bill. In 1998, the Supreme Court struct down the Line Item Veto Act, as being unconstitutional. So, unless you want to add a new amendment to the Constitution, a "Line Item Veto", is a dead subject. The constitution had intended the President to have the power only to veto the entire bill, NOT simply part of the bill. Otherwise, IT WOULD BE THE PRESIDENT LEGISLATING THE BILL, AND NOT CONGRESS. The President can already veto a bill, and then suggest to congress the changes he wants.
The Founders didn't anticipate riders being inserted into omnibus bills. The dissenting opinion in Clinton vs New York stated that he supported the line item veto because each specific appropriation could be considered a separate bill - an omnibus bill with 1000 appropriations is effectively the same as 1000 bills with one appropriation each. The omnibus bill is designed so that the President doesn't have to sign 1000 bills - he/she just signs one bill.

The problem with the current system is that each bill isn't restricted to a specific topic. Omnibus appropriations bills contain riders and other unrelated matters, which means that the President is obliged to accept whatever is in the bill otherwise risk shutting down the government.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
The Founders didn't anticipate riders being inserted into omnibus bills. The dissenting opinion in Clinton vs New York stated that he supported the line item veto because each specific appropriation could be considered a separate bill

This is probably the simplest video that expresses the issues that I have with the "Line Item Veto". It clearly explains why it is Unconstitutional, and highlights how easily it can by abused(by Clinton). For example, Clinton used his line item veto power to veto specific provisions in two public acts. He cancelled a section of the Balanced Budget Act that would have allowed the State of New York to avoid repaying the federal government over $2 billion in Medicaid subsidies. He later cancelled a section in the Taxpayer Relief Act that would have allowed owners of certain food refiners and processors to defer paying capital gains tax if they sold their stock to farmers' cooperatives. Trump is already sweeping away all the powers that Congress has. And, you want to give him more tools to do it with.

Imagine the President signing a bill into law, but nullifying the portions of the bill that he doesn't want, so that these portions can't be legally enforced(except by a two-thirds majority in both houses).

Remember, a bill must be created by congress(legislative branch), completed by congress, and agreed upon by congress. After that, it is sent to the President to sign, veto, or to do neither(pocket veto). But he cannot change any portions of a bill that has been passed by congress. He cannot nullify any portions of a bill that he signs into law. It is unconstitutional for any bill to even originate outside of congress. It would be the "president's bill", not a congress's bill anymore. This is unconstitutional.

If you can't see why the framers made sure in their drafting of the Constitution, why all branches of government MUST be separate but equal, with checks and balances on each, then I thank God, that they had this foresight, over 240 years ago. And with a 6-3 ruling against the act, it was a no-brainer.

The power of the purse is the only way Congress can limit executive power. And, you want to take that away?

 
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Auggie

Active member

This is probably the simplest video that expresses the issues that I have with the "Line Item Veto". It clearly explains why it is Unconstitutional, and highlights how easily it can by abused(by Clinton). For example, Clinton used his line item veto power to veto specific provisions in two public acts. He cancelled a section of the Balanced Budget Act that would have allowed the State of New York to avoid repaying the federal government over $2 billion in Medicaid subsidies. He later cancelled a section in the Taxpayer Relief Act that would have allowed owners of certain food refiners and processors to defer paying capital gains tax if they sold their stock to farmers' cooperatives. Trump is already sweeping away all the powers that Congress has. And, you want to give him more tools to do it with.

Imagine the President signing a bill into law, but nullifying the portions of the bill that he doesn't want, so that these portions can't be legally enforced(except by a two-thirds majority in both houses).

Remember, a bill must be created by congress(legislative branch), completed by congress, and agreed upon by congress. After that, it is sent to the President to sign, veto, or to do neither(pocket veto). But he cannot change any portions of a bill that has been passed by congress. He cannot nullify any portions of a bill that he signs into law. It is unconstitutional for any bill to even originate outside of congress. It would be the "president's bill", not a congress's bill anymore. This is unconstitutional.

If you can't see why the framers made sure in their drafting of the Constitution, why all branches of government MUST be separate but equal, with checks and balances on each, then I thank God, that they had this foresight, over 240 years ago. And with a 6-3 ruling against the act, it was a no-brainer.

The power of the purse is the only way Congress can limit executive power. And, you want to take that away?

So, I would support the line-item veto only in so far as it applies to appropriations specifically - not individual provisions within a bill. If Clinton did use it to cancel non-appropriations then I believe that shouldn't happen. It should only happen to veto specific appropriations within an omnibus bill that isn't necessary to carry on the executive government - i.e. pork-barrelling.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
So, I would support the line-item veto only in so far as it applies to appropriations specifically - not individual provisions within a bill. If Clinton did use it to cancel non-appropriations then I believe that shouldn't happen. It should only happen to veto specific appropriations within an omnibus bill that isn't necessary to carry on the executive government - i.e. pork-barrelling.
Firstly, no government agency can micromanage anything that can become complex. Secondly, we are talking about something that will be influenced by party politics and the human condition. Thirdly, it is unconstitutional for the President to amend any lawfully constructed bill, created by Congress. Fourthly, the president can't change any bill after he signs it into law. Fifthly, all bills must originate in the Legislative Branch, NOT in the executive Branch(he can't sign his own bills).

This is not what the framers had intended how the government should function. If you want to destroy the American government, then just give the President absolute power over the purse. Why bother having a legislative branch to represent the people? Lets just create another administrative bureau within the executive branch, and have the President simply cherry-pick through all of their appropriations, and expenditure request?

This reminds me of the difference between a doctor, and a midwife during a delivery. As long as everything is going okay, the midwife can do the job. But if something does go wrong, it is the doctor that needs to take over. So when the President nullifies a portion of a bill he signs into law, and millions of people begin suffering, who will take over then? A toothless, castrated, non-existent Congress?

Imagine just how much fat we could trim without a legislative branch? The line item veto act, is a clear and obvious violation of the Constitution, Specifically, on the structure and function of government. Therefore, if you want to destroy our 244 year old government, then you will need a Constitutional Amendment to do it.
 

Auggie

Active member
Firstly, no government agency can micromanage anything that can become complex. Secondly, we are talking about something that will be influenced by party politics and the human condition. Thirdly, it is unconstitutional for the President to amend any lawfully constructed bill, created by Congress. Fourthly, the president can't change any bill after he signs it into law. Fifthly, all bills must originate in the Legislative Branch, NOT in the executive Branch(he can't sign his own bills).

This is not what the framers had intended how the government should function. If you want to destroy the American government, then just give the President absolute power over the purse. Why bother having a legislative branch to represent the people? Lets just create another administrative bureau within the executive branch, and have the President simply cherry-pick through all of their appropriations, and expenditure request?

This reminds me of the difference between a doctor, and a midwife during a delivery. As long as everything is going okay, the midwife can do the job. But if something does go wrong, it is the doctor that needs to take over. So when the President nullifies a portion of a bill he signs into law, and millions of people begin suffering, who will take over then? A toothless, castrated, non-existent Congress?

Imagine just how much fat we could trim without a legislative branch? The line item veto act, is a clear and obvious violation of the Constitution, Specifically, on the structure and function of government. Therefore, if you want to destroy our 244 year old government, then you will need a Constitutional Amendment to do it.
Ok, let's imagine that rather having one omnibus bill with a thousand appropriations, Congress decided to have a single appropriation as its own bill, and sends to the President one thousand bills to approve each appropriation individually.

Would this be acceptable to you?
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
Ok, let's imagine that rather having one omnibus bill with a thousand appropriations, Congress decided to have a single appropriation as its own bill, and sends to the President one thousand bills to approve each appropriation individually.

Would this be acceptable to you?

Auggie, we are talking about how laws are created in the US. These laws must be followed by everyone in the US. Therefore, everyone should have some input in the drafting(bill) of the proposed law. After both houses vote for a bill to become law(including all parts of the bill), it is then sent to the President to be signed, vetoed(with suggestions), or ignored(pocket veto). This is how the Constitution had intended all introduced bills to become law.

You are suggesting a new way that a bill can become law. That is, that the President will now have the power to change, nullify, or rescind any part of any lawful bill sent to him by Congress. The President will now have the power to modify any bill, make it his own, and then sign it into law, without any congressional approval. The bill might be totally different than the one that was first introduced by Congress. Therefore, bypassing Congress altogether, and turning his own bill into law. This is the practice of Dictators and Autocrats. Surely, you can see the obvious slippery slope here. Our founding fathers certainly did.

You must understand, that it is Congress that makes all laws, NOT THE PRESIDENT. The President is only the last step in the process of turning proposed laws into law. The President's only Constitutional powers are to approve, disapprove, or ignore any bills(in their entirety) sent to him. And, that's it.

Since Trump has only signed 20 bills into law since Jan. 20th, I doubt if he will be seeing thousands of bills on his desk. But I see your point, although remote. This will require a new amendment, that will change the complete structure of the US government. and totally destroy the balance of power between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branches of government.

Maybe if God were President, I might agree with your proposal. But I am pretty sure he/she will be human. Well after Trump, not so sure anymore.
 

Auggie

Active member
That is, that the President will now have the power to change, nullify, or rescind any part of any lawful bill sent to him by Congress. The President will now have the power to modify any bill, make it his own, and then sign it into law, without any congressional approval.
The President isn't amending anything - he/she is simply disapproving a specific item of appropriation - he/she cannot change that appropriation or add anything else. It is solely a negative on the appropriation.

It's no different if each appropriation was a specific bill itself and the President returned the Bill to Congress for reconsideration.

One could argue that the veto is effectively 'legislating' because it allows the President to nullify a law passed by Congress.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
The President isn't amending anything - he/she is simply disapproving a specific item of appropriation - he/she cannot change that appropriation or add anything else. It is solely a negative on the appropriation.

It's no different if each appropriation was a specific bill itself and the President returned the Bill to Congress for reconsideration.

Auggie, the only things that the President can do, is veto an entire Bill, sign an entire bill, or ignore an entire bill. If he signs the entire bill, then the entire bill will become law. If he vetoes the entire bill, then the entire will NOT become law(unless two-thirds of Congress votes to overrides his veto}. If he ignores the entire bill for 10 days, then it will automatically become law without his signature. Those are his only options.

The President provides the checks and balances system, that prevent Congress from making and enacting its own laws. Now, you are just allowing the President to make his own laws. And, making Congress impotent. Here is an example.

Lets say a 500 billion dollar military appropriations bill is being drafted in the House. This bill also has 5 rider provisions, with allocated funding for Burger King, Pizza Hut, the Trump Sociopathic Seniors Club, the American Legion, and the Fallen Servicemen's Widowers Pension Fund. This bill also has 2 pork-barrel provisions to fund the Trump Public Works Projects, and the Trump on Mt. Rushmore Committee. After arguing and debating for 10 months over every aspect of the bill in both houses, the bill is finally agreed on, and is passed by both houses with ease.

This bill is then sent to the President to be signed into law. Remember, that the Bill is NOT law yet. With the President's new line item veto powers, the President can now reject/nullify/override any particular provisions in this lawfully enacted bill by a legislature, without vetoing the entire bill. He can now sign his cherry-picked revised bill into law, and no one can stop him. And, anything that he signs, is in effect for at least 6 months.

Therefore, he could veto/nullify the American Legion and Widowers Pension Fund rider provisions, and the Trump Public Works pork barrel funds. He can then sign this new revised bill into law, without any congressional input on the original bill. Congress could not repeal the law for at least 6 months. And, only then after a two-thirds majority vote in both houses. This is how a dictatorship, and an autocracy works. Not a Democracy.

It's no different if each appropriation was a specific bill itself and the President returned the Bill to Congress for reconsideration.
But each appropriation is NOT a single bill. Each appropriation is ATTACHED to a single bill.

In the normal practice, the President can only VETO the ENTIRE bill, and send it back to congress with his reasons and suggestions. But with the "line item veto" powers, he can make changes in the original bill, sign it into law, and not send it back to congress. Can you see the dangerous difference here? Like I've said before, only God should have this power, not man. And certainly not Trump!!!

Oh, and who didn't see a Black female Vice President pick from Biden?
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with the idea that bills should only cover one general subject. For example, a bill for national defense should not include an appropriation for a study of the sex habits of the fruit fly by some university. That item should be in an Education bill.

But other than that, the system should remain as it is. If the President doesn't like certain items in a defense bill, he can veto the bill with his objections to the bill, and he can ask Congress to delete the parts he doesn't like. At that point, the Congress may do as he asks, negotiate with the President, or they can override his veto.
 

Auggie

Active member
This bill is then sent to the President to be signed into law. Remember, that the Bill is NOT law yet. With the President's new line item veto powers, the President can now reject/nullify/override any particular provisions in this lawfully enacted bill by a legislature, without vetoing the entire bill. He can now sign his cherry-picked revised bill into law, and no one can stop him. And, anything that he signs, is in effect for at least 6 months.
He can then sign this new revised bill into law, without any congressional input on the original bill.
Incorrect. Any appropriations that the President disapproves would be returned to Congress for reconsideration, and they can then override those provisions (or any of them) with a two-thirds vote.

In the e.g. above, the President would veto the line-item for the Mount Rushmore Committee and the American Legion, then those two line-items would be sent back to Congress for reconsideration. Congress can then reconsider those provisions and if passed by a two-thirds of both Houses, then those provisions become law.
 

Auggie

Active member
I agree with the idea that bills should only cover one general subject. For example, a bill for national defense should not include an appropriation for a study of the sex habits of the fruit fly by some university. That item should be in an Education bill.

But other than that, the system should remain as it is. If the President doesn't like certain items in a defense bill, he can veto the bill with his objections to the bill, and he can ask Congress to delete the parts he doesn't like. At that point, the Congress may do as he asks, negotiate with the President, or they can override his veto.
But then, the President is forced to shutdown the Government if he/she wants to veto pork.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
But then, the President is forced to shutdown the Government if he/she wants to veto pork.
The up side to that is that it forces the President and the Congress to act. They can't live very long with a shutdown, so one side or both have to give in.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
Incorrect. Any appropriations that the President disapproves would be returned to Congress for reconsideration, and they can then override those provisions (or any of them) with a two-thirds vote.
Please take another look at this video again. It explains what the "Line Item Veto Act" is, and why the Supreme Court decided that the act was unconstitutional.


If the President exercised his constitutional powers to sign a bill into law, or his statutory powers to veto a bill and send it back to congress for reconsideration(with his comments and suggestions), then we would not be having this conversation. And, the Act would not have been ruled unconstitutional. But this is not what the line item veto act allows for the President.

The problem is, that the President could then change/delete any part of a bill he doesn't like, AFTER signing it into law. and WITHOUT sending it back to congress for reconsideration. The problem is, that the bill the President signed into law, did NOT originate from Congress. The problem is, that the bill the President has signed into law, is NOT the same duly enacted bill that was approved by congress. All are violations of the "Presentment Act" and other articles of the Constitution. This was a no brainer for the courts, and should be a no brainer for you. The opening for partisan abuses and partisan favoritism is obvious.

The President cannot,

make laws.
declare war.
decide how federal money will be spent.
interpret laws.
choose Cabinet members or Supreme Court Justices without Senate approval.

Unfortunately, this President is mad, and continues to ignore these constitutional limitation. Even committing blatant murder on a foreign soil. He completely surrounds himself with yes-men, egotistic malcontents(Stephen Miller), and other closet sociopaths, to do his dirty work for him.

In the e.g. above, the President would veto the line-item for the Mount Rushmore Committee and the American Legion, then those two line-items would be sent back to Congress for reconsideration. Congress can then reconsider those provisions and if passed by a two-thirds of both Houses, then those provisions become law.
The President has no statutory or constitutional power to veto ANY line item in ANY bill, AFTER HE HAS SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW. Because, it would NOT be the same bill Congress had enacted, agreed upon, and sent to his desk. Therefore, that bill cannot become law.

Congress is NOT overriding a veto, or reconsidering a returned bill. It would be using its two third majority vote to overturn a law that was not legislated by them. This act challenges not only the intent of our founding fathers, but also the structure of our government.

I'm sure you don't approve of dictatorships, or autocracies. So why would you want to give the President this amount of power? Just to avoid government shutdowns(Did you know Trump had 2 shutdowns?)? Or to pass bills into law more expediently? I don't think you are seeing the big picture here.
 

Auggie

Active member
The problem is, that the President could then change/delete any part of a bill he doesn't like, AFTER signing it into law. and WITHOUT sending it back to congress for reconsideration. The problem is, that the bill the President signed into law, did NOT originate from Congress. The problem is, that the bill the President has signed into law, is NOT the same duly enacted bill that was approved by congress. All are violations of the "Presentment Act" and other articles of the Constitution. This was a no brainer for the courts, and should be a no brainer for you. The opening for partisan abuses and partisan favoritism is obvious.
If that's what that Act was about then I disagree with it - the appropriations should be returned to Congress for reconsideration.

The President has no statutory or constitutional power to veto ANY line item in ANY bill, AFTER HE HAS SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW. Because, it would NOT be the same bill Congress had enacted, agreed upon, and sent to his desk. Therefore, that bill cannot become law.

Congress is NOT overriding a veto, or reconsidering a returned bill. It would be using its two third majority vote to overturn a law that was not legislated by them. This act challenges not only the intent of our founding fathers, but also the structure of our government.
You're looking at an appropriations bill as ONE bill. It's not simply one bill. Each appropriation is placed in a single bill for convenience. As I've said before, it would be no different if Congress sent a thousand appropriation bills to the President and the President vetoed 300 of those. A line-item is different to a provision in any other bill.

I wouldn't support the President have a 'partial veto' in any other bill - the veto would apply only to appropriations.

I'm sure you don't approve of dictatorships, or autocracies. So why would you want to give the President this amount of power? Just to avoid government shutdowns(Did you know Trump had 2 shutdowns?)? Or to pass bills into law more expediently? I don't think you are seeing the big picture here.
When the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, there were many things they didn't anticipate. For e.g. there was no provision for bills to deal with one subject matter.

Read up on the Constitution which the Confederates drafted soon after seceding. Apart from the vile slavery clauses in its Constitution, they added the line-item veto and provisions to prevent riders in Bills. This indicates to me that even the most staunchly conservative politicians at the time believed that there were things the original Framers didn't intend.

In fact, the two-thirds appropriation amendment I suggested was actually proposed by the Confederate framers because they believe that the best department to call for sums of money was the executive branch.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
If that's what that Act was about then I disagree with it - the appropriations should be returned to Congress for reconsideration.

Well, that is exactly the power, that the line item veto act gives the President. So, you disapprove of the line item veto act. Good!!!

You're looking at an appropriations bill as ONE bill. It's not simply one bill. Each appropriation is placed in a single bill for convenience. As I've said before, it would be no different if Congress sent a thousand appropriation bills to the President and the President vetoed 300 of those. A line-item is different to a provision in any other bill.

I wouldn't support the President have a 'partial veto' in any other bill - the veto would apply only to appropriations.
It is the President who looks at any bill as a single bill. A single onion has many layers, but it is still a single onion. He can veto the entire bill, and send it back to Congress with his suggestions and comments about its layers. He can sign it into law, with all of its layers. But he CAN'T sign a single bill into law, and then remove some of its layers. That is unconstitutional.

It has nothing to do with the composition of a bill. It has everything to do with the President's constitutional, and statutory powers to sign bills into law. A President cannot veto, amend, delete any portion of a bill that he has already signed into law. Also, if each bill IS a single appropriation, then how can the President veto only a portion of that bill, after signing it into law? How? What is to stop him from extending this power onto ALL bills? The Constitution? Hence why, a new constitutional amendment would be needed.

Either you think that Congress should give this power to the president(which they can't), or should not. I have given you my reasons. That it is unconstitutional, and that it would undoubtedly be abused by both parties.

n fact, the two-thirds appropriation amendment I suggested was actually proposed by the Confederate framers because they believe that the best department to call for sums of money was the executive branch.
The confederate constitution was all about protecting the rights of 11 confederate states. Which included keeping slavery as an institution. The US Constitution is about protecting the rights of ALL States, and all institutions. The Confederate Constitution was a short-sighted, and a divisive document. Many governors already have line item veto powers. So what? The President is NOT the state government. I disagree with you. This is NOT the executive's money, or the Congress's money. It is the people's money, and they should have as much say in how it is spent, as congress or the president.
 
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