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Constitutionality of US deficit reduction bill challenged on basis of clerical error

[JURIST] Consumer protection organization Public Citizen [advocacy website] Tuesday filed suit [official press release; PDF complaint] in federal court in Washington, DC, challenging the constitutionality of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [PDF text], which cuts approximately $39 billion in federal programs. In its suit, Public Citizen alleges that the version of the bill signed by the President was passed by the US Senate, but not by the House. The inconsistency was the result of an error made by the Senate clerk, who altered text in the House version of the legislation regarding the duration of Medicare payments for certain types of medical equipment, putting down 36 months instead of 13, the figure that House and Senate negotiators had agreed. The House narrowly approved the bill with the 36-month provision, but the President's signed version contained the Senate number.

Public Citizen argues that the erroneous procedure violates the Bicameral Clause of the US Constitution. AP has more.

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