Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blunt Backs Legislation to Curb Wasteful Government Spending, Allow for Public Debate

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt is a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation -- H.R. 1294, The Congressional Accountability and Line-Item Veto Act of 2009 -- introduced late yesterday to give the president authority to strike spending provisions from a bill without vetoing the entire legislation.

"I've supported similar efforts in the past and I can't think of a more appropriate time than now to force a level of fiscal responsibility in Washington," Blunt said. "It's time that Congress follows the example of hard-working American families and exercises some spending discipline. Everyone should support this legislation as a final backstop against wasteful and rash government spending."

The bill, Blunt said, allows Congress a chance to publicly review the merits of questionable programs or projects that are rejected by the president, therefore weeding out unfounded requests while allowing only necessary funding to remain intact.

This is the fifth time Blunt has sponsored such legislation. The current provision, if adopted, gives the president 30 days to omit spending requests from bills sent to the White House for his signature prior to becoming law. This process is known as a line-item veto.

If the president uses the new power to remove a funding provision from the bill, the House and Senate will have 12 days to approve the president's action or the funds will be released.

Specifically, the Line-Item Veto Act:
-- Ensures timely consideration by setting deadlines for action.
-- Maintains Congress's Constitutional "power of the purse" by requiring
the House and Senate to approve specific funding rescissions.
-- Limits the number or rescission requests Congress must act on to help
limit gridlock.
-- Expires at the end of 2014 so Congress can review the legislation
before renewing it.

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