President Bush has asked once again for line-item veto authority. While he says this would let him to help push through critical legislation by allowing him to veto portions of the bill, it is a very bad idea. Line-item veto authority essentially would allow a sitting president to pick and choose what he wants the bill to say or which pork projects to fund if dealing with a budget bill. It sounds great, but would usurp Congress’ authority over legislation. Republicans like to talk about judges who legislate from the bench, well this would allow the President to legislate from the Oval Office.
To show how forward-thinking I am, I would like to offer the following alternative:
One Bill, One Issue
The basics of this are simple and self-explanatory: For each issue being debated, give it its own bill. That way you accomplish several things at once. You create greater openness among our elected representatives. You can force legislators to present their pet projects on their own. Funding for those projects can either be granted or denied without affecting must-pass legislation. You will cut down immensely on corruption since each bill will be out in the open. You accomplish the same goal the President has with line-item veto. If an issue is contentious, rather than strike it from a large piece of legislation, it can be vetoed on its own. The only downside to this proposal is that legislators will be signing and voting a hell of a lot more.
So tell me what you guys think. Is this a good idea? I doubt it would ever pass, but if we aren’t thinking on how to make our government work better and more efficient, we aren’t doing our jobs.