House Dem leaders break with Obama on line-item veto

The House overwhelmingly approved the legislation, known as the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act, on a vote of 254-173. The bill would allow the president to make specific rescission recommendations to legislation passed by Congress. Those cuts would then have to be approved by Congress.

The Supreme Court ruled during the 1990s that a full line-item veto was an unconstitutional breach of the Congress’s power of the purse. This was an attempt to grant the president more limited authority to strike funding provisions that are often included in sweeping appropriations bills.

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The White House backed the bill after President Obama called for Congress to grant him rescission authority last year.

The legislation split members of the Budget and Appropriations panels. Appropriators said it would shift too much power from the legislative to the executive branch.

Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat and a former appropriator, said on Tuesday that he supports expedited rescission authority but opposes the legislation because it allows the president to reduce funding altogether rather than simply object to money being spent on a specific project.

“I think that diminishes the authority of the Congress under Article I to establish spending levels and appropriate funds to priorities that it deems appropriate,” Hoyer told reporters.