|Line Item Veto Debate|
Reps. Solomon and Skaggs
June 20, 1997
in this forum:
Should the Court even rule on this case? What is the experience in the states with L.I.V.s? Why do we need a line item veto now? Would the LIV have helped pass the disaster relief bill? Wasn't it Congress' decision to give the President this veto? Isn't this an example of Congress not taking responsibility for its own duties?
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A question from Sylvia Carlson of Denver, CO:
It seems that this provision marks an essential question of separation of powers. Here we have the Congress giving the executive a certain authority and certain members of the legislative branch appealing to the Courts to stop this act. If the Congress voted to give this authority away, is it really the Supreme Court's role to intercede?
Rep. Solomon responds:
The Supreme Court has consistently held over our 200-year history that Congress can, in fact it must, delegate certain responsibilities to the executive branch in order to achieve desired objectives. The objective here is to reduce the deficit and unnecessary spending. The line item veto places another arrow in the President's quiver to reduce the deficit. On the question as to whether it is the Supreme Court's role to intervene, this issue was discussed at length during the Court's hearing. It remains to be seen what will be the outcome.
Rep. Skaggs responds:
Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of what the Constitution means. The Supreme Court's job is to decide cases and controversies just like this case concerning the Line Item Veto Act. The case has importance far beyond just the legislative branch and the executive branch. It affects the core structure of government, in which every American has a stake. It questions the authority of Congress to add major powers to the enormous powers already held by the President. The Supreme Court has always been the final arbiter of whether either of the other branches has exceeded its constitutional authority.