“As a businessman, I more than recognize the way the government is operating is not only unsustainable, it is a recipe for disaster and failure,” Isakson said in a press release. “This amendment will force Congress to become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money and give the president much-needed authority to remove items from appropriations bills that are considered wasteful on a national perspective.”
He said that one of the causes of deficits is the presence of unnecessary projects in the spending bills.
Isakson noted that the governors of 43 states, including Georgia, have line-item veto authority. Congress passed a bill giving the president a line-item veto in 1996, but it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that it gave the president the power to interfere with laws passed by Congress.
Unlike the earlier line-item veto, in which the president could remove items but not decrease the amount budgeted for them, this bill would allow the president to either remove items or reduce the amount budgeted for them.
Sheridan Watson, press secretary for Isakson, said the amendment is before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is no timeline for it coming before the full Senate.
Other members of the federal delegation support the measure.
“Congressman Westmoreland welcomes all ideas to slash federal spending,” said Brian Robinson, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., in an e-mail interview.
“He’d prefer to see Congress live up to its constitutional responsibility and pass a budget that cuts spending to a sustainable level, but he appreciates the leadership Sen. Isakson is showing on this issue. We are in dire straits and serious changes are needed.”
Press Secretary Ashley Nelson said in an e-mail that U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has supported line-item veto legislation in the past and that Congress and the Obama administration should work together to rein in spending. He is still reviewing the current line-item veto proposal.