Monday, January 29, 2007

Conrad On Why Bush Should Never Have Line-Item Veto

I could bore you with page after page of the debate that took place on the floor of the Senate last week on the bill to give the line-item veto to George W. Bush, but Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, gave an example that says it all:
"Let's be blunt. The President would have the ability to call a Member or have his staff call a Member and say: 'Look, I have a very controversial judge up there. I need your vote. And by the way, I am considering a project in your State that is critically important to you. I am going to have to line-item veto that. But I might be persuaded not to if I could have your support on this other matter.'

"That is exactly what the Founding Fathers were concerned about -- handing that kind of power to a President, that kind of power over an individual Member. That is a dangerous notion. It has been ruled unconstitutional in the past. I believe this would be ruled unconstitutional."
The line-item veto measure was killed in the Senate last week, but can't you picture Bush pulling exactly the kind of crap Conrad describes in this scenario?

Enough said.