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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Feingold-Ryan Veto Act Surrenders Purse

A genuine political odd couple, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D) are apparently teaming up to promote Ryan’s labor of love, the Congressional Accountability and Line-Item Veto Act. I have no idea why Feingold would risk his reputation on this, but he has been known to cross party lines in hope of passing well-intentioned legislation, most notably the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.

Ryan’s single focus drive to pass some type of congressional fiscal responsibility reform under the guise of presidential veto power reform is misguided.

Congressional fiscal accountability must happen when the bills are written, not when the president mulls over them on his desk. This Line-Item Veto Act essentially allows the president to receive one appropriation bill and break it into two after he cherry-picks out what he perceives as undesirable (pork) spending and loads it into another basket to be returned to Congress.
JG Excerpt:
Instead, it would allow him to highlight earmarks and send them back to Congress to vote on separately.
Unless I missed something here, once the president signs his version of the spending bill - it is law, while the second bill, the highlighted earmarks stitched together by the president is debated again in Congress. This entire exercise seems pointless considering that the uncut bill passed through Congress before it wound up on the presidents desk. The only thing this bill would do is add another burden to the congressional bureaucracy and hand the president a new power tool to play with.
JG Excerpt:
Both legislators said they hope people take notice of the bipartisan bill nature of the bill.
I took notice and I wonder how many Democrats Ryan has in the House for this bill.

I’m also surprised Feingold went along with this political charade but he has little to lose, and with an early challenger up and running against Ryan for his house seat, he has everything to gain now that he can write Feingold-Ryan in his campaign brochure.

I urge Congress to stop this bill.

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