WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced that he is co-sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would allow the President to use the line-item veto to either eliminate or reduce appropriations in any bill passed by the Congress.
“We must take bold and immediate steps to end the reckless spending that is threatening the future of our nation,” Isakson said. “This amendment will give the President much-needed authority to remove items from appropriations bills that are considered wasteful on a national perspective.”
Isakson noted that governors in 43 states — including Georgia — have line-item veto authority.
Congress passed a line-item veto bill in 1996, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The 1996 bill allowed the president to cancel, but not reduce, spending items in appropriation bills. The legislation Isakson is co-sponsoring would give the President more flexibility by allowing him to cancel or reduce any appropriation passed by Congress.
“One of the problems we have in America with deficit spending is spending money on projects that by anybody’s definition are unnecessary projects,” Isakson said. “We need to have politicians justifying what they just spent rather than promising what they will spend.”
Isakson said he is committed to trying to pass legislation to curb federal spending and to demand more accountability from programs that receive federal dollars. To that end, Isakson has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation in addition to the line-item veto:
• The Stop Over-Spending (“S.O.S.”) Act would create a line-item veto mechanism for the President to use to eliminate wasteful spending and require Congressional affirmation for any deletions proposed by the President. It would implement procedures to automatically slow the rate of growth for mandatory programs if Congress fails to meet deficit reduction targets and reinstate statutory caps on discretionary spending.
In addition, the S.O.S. Act would create two new bi-partisan commissions. The first would study the accountability and efficiency of government programs. The second commission would examine and provide solutions to the impending entitlement crisis.
• The Commission on Congressional Budgetary Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies Act would establish a bipartisan commission to review federal agencies and programs in an effort to eliminate federal spending on programs that are duplicative, wasteful, inefficient or outdated.