Senators suggest line-item veto to supercommittee

"A bipartisan group in Congress agrees that the line-item veto will help hold Washington accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are used effectively," he said. "I will be working with the deficit committee to include this important tool in the final package it produces."

In 1996, Coats and McCain co-authored a line-item veto measure that became law. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, a ruling opposed by Coats and McCain. 

Coats and 40 senators support a measure that would give the president line-item veto authority to cut wasteful spending, and would address previously questionable constitutional questions.

"It represents a "budget scalpel" that will require Congress to hold an up or down vote on the president’s proposed cuts, providing additional transparency and accountability to the appropriations process," the letter said. "While it is not a silver bullet for eliminating the entirety of federal deficits, as part of a multi-pronged approach, expedited rescission authority is an important addition to our toolbox as we in Congress work to eliminate wasteful spending that is not in the best interest of our country."