Democrats are quick to point out that President Clinton’s administration managed to reduce the Federal Budget during numerous years of his administration. The tool President Clinton had that no prior President had or any since is the Presidential Line Item Veto.

President Reagan requested the power, President Clinton requested the power, and President Bush requested the power.

In 1996, Congress passed “The Line Item Veto Act of 1996.” This act provided President Clinton the power to veto items that favors a particular region rather than the nation as a whole. The veto was used 82 times in 11 bills. In 1998 a US District Court determined the bill violated the US Constitution, the decesion was upheld by the Supreme Court.

In 2006 President Bush sent to Congress a proposal called “The Line Item Veto Act of 2006”, that would have not violated the US Constitution. This bill was different from the 1996 bill, because it did not give the President unilateral authority to veto spending line items. The line items the President desired to eliminate reqired a simple majority of Congress to vote for or against the eliminations within ten days, and the proposed eliminations could not be filibustered. The bill passed Congress, but died in the Senate.

Would the right of line item veto help eliminate earmarks, give the President to much power, make the President more accountable to spending, or help eliminate deficit spending? It is all a matter of opinion at this point, the President does not have the right of line item veto.