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House Passes Line-Item Veto Measure

On February 8th, the House of Representatives passed HR 3521, the “Expedited Legislative line Item Veto and Rescissions Act.” Introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and notably supported by top Budget Committee Democrat Chris Van Hollen (MD), the bipartisan legislation authorizes “…the President to propose the rescission (line item veto) of all or any dollar amount of funding provided by any enacted bill or joint resolution.” The measure also “…authorizes the President, except for his deferral of budget authority provided in Congressional Budget Act, to withhold such rescinded funding temporarily from obligation, but only once per proposed rescission.” In essence, this limits both the veto and rescission authority to discretionary spending and occurs only after there is an expedited up/down vote in Congress. The language also carries a 2015 sunset provision.

Action now shifts to the Senate where the proposal is viewed in a less friendly light — particularly from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Obama Administration, however, has signaled its support via a Statement of Administrative Policy issued on February 6th.