Line Item Veto Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Line Item Veto?
The line item veto is the power of a president or governor to reject individual provisions in a bill without vetoing the entire legislation. This authority is rare and has been used sparingly throughout history, but it can be an effective tool to help control government spending and promote fiscal responsibility. The line item veto was first used in 1876 by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, who vetoed several military appropriations bills that he felt were too expensive or unnecessary. The practice was later codified into law by Congress in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. This act gave presidents the power to disapprove individual spending items from appropriations bills; however, it was declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court in 1998 on the grounds that it violated Article I of the Constitution which gives Congress exclusive authority over federal spending decisions. Since then, several states have adopted line-item-veto powers for their governors through state constitutional amendments or statutes. These laws generally provide for a limited amount of time for a governor to exercise his or her veto power (usually three days). During this period, he or she must review each line item and determine whether it should be approved or rejected based on fiscal soundness and other considerations such as its effect on current policy objectives or public opinion at large. If approved, the provision will become part of law; if not, it will be struck down immediately with no further action needed from either chamber of legislature. Although relatively few states have chosen to use this form of executive power, those that have are able to better manage their budgets and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely on projects that benefit constituents most directly instead of being squandered away on superfluous expenditures pushed through by special interest groups with political clout.