Van Hollen optimistic on prospect for budget reform bill

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is optimistic for the prospects for his line-item veto bill now that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has signed on.

Van Hollen told The Hill Wednesday that the revised bill may receive a markup in the budget committee this month and said that Ryan has indicated it could come to the House floor early next year.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) supports the bill, his office said Wednesday, but the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been quiet on it.

Van Hollen said he expects the White House and Democratic leaders to come out in favor of the bill, which was introduced Wednesday.

The bill allows the president to request that funding be rescinded from appropriations bills and to have that request receive expedited treatment in both chambers of Congress. The mechanism is an attempt to get around the fact that a straight line-item veto was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1990s.

Van Hollen first introduced the bill in March and the new version has an added mechanism to ensure that any savings go toward reducing the deficit.

Specifically it lowers the spending cap, as set in the August debt ceiling deal, by the amount of funding rescinded.



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