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Bush urges Congress to pass line-item veto bill in weekend radio address

[JURIST] President Bush Saturday urged Congress to approve a line-item veto bill in his weekly radio address [recorded audio; transcript] Saturday, insisting that "a line-item veto would allow the President to remove wasteful spending from a bill while preserving the rest." He said current law forces a President to either veto an entire bill or approve one with unnecessary spending. A line-item veto would allow the President to "insist on greater discipline in the budget."

Last Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed [JURIST report] the Legislative Line-Item Veto Act of 2006 [text, PDF] by a vote of 247-172. The bill, which President Bush proposed [JURIST report; White House press release] in March, allows the President to strip special spending and earmarks out of a bill and then send those provisions back to Congress for an up or down majority vote, rather than requiring them to be sustained by a two-thirds supermajority. The legislation is weaker than the 1996 line-item veto legislation [text, PDF] that the US Supreme Court struck down [decision text] as violating the constitutional separation of powers. The bill must still get Senate approval before Bush can sign it into law. AP has more.

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