“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Senators trying to revive line-item veto for Obama

President Barack Obama is joining recent presidents who have wanted a power they can’t quite have: the line-item veto.
His predecessors — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton — supported versions of the concept, which would allow the president to strike specific spending items from large appropriations bills and, supporters hope, put an end to Congress’s ability to lard unrelated spending into large pieces of legislation.
But line-item-veto legislation sponsored by Republicans in the 1990s — and briefly wielded by Clinton — was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 1998.
So, on Monday, the Obama team proposed a line-item veto with a twist: The president would have a limited time after a bill is passed to submit a package of rescissions that must be considered by Congress in straight up or down votes.
“The line-item veto gave the knife to the president, and that was unconstitutional,” White House budget director Peter Orszag told reporters in a conference call on the issue. “Here, we are trying to find a way for the president to give the knife back to Congress.”
Orszag said the mere threat that a president could call out spending as wasteful with such a legislative maneuver might prevent members of Congress from adding the spending in the first place.
“The proposal provides the president with important, but limited, powers,” he said. “It changes the optics and changes the dynamics in an important way.”
Politically, the proposal helps the Obama administration mute criticism from the right that it isn’t doing enough to cut spending. And because the Obama proposal is similar to one included in the Republican Contract With America in 1994, it helps move him toward the political center on the spending issue.
It also presents a challenge to Republicans, who have traditionally pushed for line-item-veto authority but may be wary of giving such power to Obama for fear it could be used against them politically.
For their part, Republicans on Monday said they supported the measure even as they criticized the president for runaway spending and the highest deficit of the post-World War II era.
“We’re pleased President Obama is interested in demonstrating fiscal discipline,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. “But he already has the authority to force Congress to consider spending cuts immediately, and Republicans have been inviting him to use it for months.”
The measure sent to Congress for its consideration — officially titled the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2010 — would have three main differences from the president’s current authority, the White House said.
First, it would require that a package of proposed rescissions be submitted within 45 days after the final passage of an appropriations bill.
Second, Congress would not be permitted to amend the package of cuts.
Third, the House and Senate would face time limits for debate, which would guarantee the president’s cuts get an up or down vote rather quickly.
The White House said the new authority would help Obama cut “billions” of dollars in spending each year. And officials released a list of current spending measures they said Obama would have used the authority on, including:
•$157 million in funding for earmarked projects at the Environmental Protection Agency
•$293 million for earmarked transportation projects at the Transportation Department
•$25 million at the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department to fund public broadcasting, even though that funding is covered under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
•And $17 million for a Department of Housing and Urban Development brownfields economic development initiative that the administration said duplicates another federal program.

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