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John Kerry to Introduce Line-Item Veto Proposal – “Let’s Hold the President’s Feet to the Fire”

by Pamela Leavey

John Kerry has announced he will introduce a Line-Item Veto Proposal to help Bush out with his goal to “weed hometown projects from legislation passed by Congress.”

Below is a statement from John Kerry on President Bush’s call for a line-item veto. Kerry previously proposed a constitutional line-item veto that would allow the President to reduce pork barrel spending and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Under Kerry’s plan the President would identify wasteful items in spending and tax legislation and submit it to Congress to act on in an up-or-down vote.

“It’s no secret that President Bush and I don’t agree on much, but I fully support giving him the line-item veto. I’m going to introduce this legislation, Congress should immediately pass it, and I want to see President Bush use this veto pen to get tough on wasteful spending. Under this Republican-led House and Senate, pork barrel spending has gone through the roof. Nearly $30 billion a year is being spent on projects that have never even been debated. Billions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on things like research to enhance the flavor of roasted peanuts and the infamous ‘bridge to nowhere.’ We have the largest deficit in American history, and the guys in charge are acting like teenagers with a new credit card.

Let’s pass this line-item veto, and let’s hold the President’s feet to the fire to make sure that a White House that has never once vetoed anything starts vetoing the incomprehensible waste coming out of this Congress.”

AP News notes that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., “promoted a similar approach in his presidential campaign.”

UPDATE: A PDF copy of Kerry’s Line Item Veto proposal is available here.

38 Responses to “John Kerry to Introduce Line-Item Veto Proposal – “Let’s Hold the President’s Feet to the Fire””

  1. Gets right out in front, doesn’t he?

    I’m really interested in the details of his proposal. Do you have a link to a source? Is he introducing it today, or tomorrow, or when, do you know (so I can find the bill on thomas)?


  2. Can we just throw him into the fire instead? 🙂

  3. Regardless of your political beliefs, the line-item veto WORKS in 43 states. It should have been part of US policy for the last 2 centuries and must be enacted for the years ahead.

    It works!

  4. John Kerry is such a gentlemen. He can use phrases like hold the president’s feet to the fire and not think what first came to my mind. Someone holding GWB’s feet inside a fireplace.

  5. MH

    The text is not available yet. It’s not been introduced yet, and they are holding off on releasing the text until it is – As soon as it is I’ll have it.

  6. Thanks, Pamela!

  7. MH

    I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in the text myself.

  8. End of times? I finally agree with Kerry? Is he becoming CONSERVATIVE?

  9. Tim, JK totally gets the money thing, and generating jobs-not pork.

  10. Tim,

    Kerry has always been a supporter of fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. Supporting hte line item veto goes along with that.

    Or perhaps he just figures that he might as well take away Bush’s last excuse for the increased government spending on his watch.

  11. Tim

    Nice of you to quote the right wing blog that linked to this post. No thoughts of your own it seems, instead you borrowed…
    “Man, maybe I should preach on the end times tonight.”

  12. Having grown up in Boston, and assumed to be conservative, reserved, and flinty cheap when I’d travel or go to college, as those stereotypes, amazed now at the liberal thing.

    We’re rural, blue collar, except for that part of greater Boston and dots throughout the state that is University.

    Those dots I would stereotype as reasoned and researched views.

    What’s in a name?

  13. Marjorie,

    It is hard to tell what the names liberal and conservative mean today.

    If you go by Bush’s policies, to be a conservative means a foreign policy which strengthens our nation’s enemies, increased deficits, opposition to small business, screwing soldiers and veterans, and ignoring our nation’s greatest traditions of individual liberty and separation of church and state.

  14. Pamela,

    It’s the usual pattern. The recent crop of conservatives can’t think. They can just repeat their talking points.

    If they could think, they would see through all the nonsense they say.

  15. Ron

    I was just listening to Mike Malloy on Air America and right winger called in. Malloy noted how the only thing they can ever do is repeat talking points these days.

  16. Pamela,

    No surprise as that is exactly what they do.

    They have no independent thoughts. They have no principles. They can just repeat talking points someone fed to them. (Have you met Tim?)

  17. Great issue.

    Kerry frames it on his terms and demostrates what a fiscal conservative might look like.

  18. At first I wasn’t thrilled about bush getting anything other than a one way ticket to the moon that he seems so interested in going.

    But I got to admit JK got him on this one.

    As IFKeditor said frame the debate on JK’s terms and shows his fiscal conservative side. Afterall how can the right wing nuts call him a liberal and tax and spend when he introduces line Item veto legislation before frist and his crew does. 🙂

    Then again ol Ted Stevens and some of his ilk may not vote for it now that JK is sponsoring legislation.
    Either way Kerry comes out good on this issue and may get the opportunity to rub bush, chenney and roves face in the fact he introduce legislation to give bush line item veto.

    Of course they will have to be careful in the crafting of the bill as the supreme court knocked down a previous bill.

  19. Anybody remember ‘pay-as-you-go’?

    Thank goodness those fiscal conservatives through that ridicules program out. We wouldn’t want to be responsible for the people’s money, would we? How about the people’s debt?

    The dirty little secret that the Bush Administration doesn’t talk about much is ALL the RED INK the fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party have run up. Can the GOP campaign for the mid-terms as fiscal conservatives – and keep straight faces while doing it? How can the voting public believe these guys?!

  20. Glad JK came up with that total figure. 30 Billion a year.
    To enhance the flavor of peanuts, and of course, all the Stevens-Young Alaska pork. Once again, that is the state that has a whole bunch of oil revenues socked in to the “Permanent Fund”. Every year a certain % of the PF interest is added to the fund. The rest goes to the residents as the Permanent Fund Check. Around a thousand per person (kids too) for at least 2 decades, last year it dipped to around $600. So a state that has NO state income tax and pays its residents from the interest on the reserve fund, is able to get our tax money for projects the state could have paid for.
    JK can use this for what it is: part of his record of getting done what needs to be done.

  21. Marjorie G Says: March 6th, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    Marjorie G

    I always considered myself a liberal from MA but when you think of the old Yankee families in MA many are conservative in a lot of regards, however, I suppose if you compare a conservative Yankee to conservative in the bible belt, a conservative Yankee would be a liberal.

  22. Ginny

    I’m curious what flavor they came up with for the peanuts?

  23. Blue Washington

    Pay Go it’s an ancient principle that some fiscal conservatives were known to follow. These days Pay Go means we pay and then go with out.

  24. The real question is: Is Kerry for it before he is against it? If he stays with it and shows a backbone for once he may have a chance of being a contender in ’08.

  25. All demagogy. Remember all spending bill are initiated in the House. Blame it on Bush all you want, but if you want to hold someone’s feet to the fire do it to your legislatures, who vote for needless pork in other districts in order to get votes for their own needless pork. All only in the name of getting reelected.

  26. You do realize that 3 of you (commentators) attempt to mock conservatives as parroting talking points, when you are just parroting a talking point regarding conservatives? People have beliefs based on many factors, there is no reason to think that if people stop listening to one side and embrace another, that their views will change, and it is vastly ignorant to think otherwise.

  27. Clark Says:
    March 7th, 2006 at 6:56 am
    The real question is: Is Kerry for it before he is against it? If he stays with it and shows a backbone for once he may have a chance of being a contender in ‘08.

    General, is that you?

  28. Joe,

    The biggest reason for me NOT to believe anything any more was back in 2000 when Bush was in his first campaign for the presidency. He kept talking about “the people’s money” and how he would give it back to us in the form of tax cuts.

    What a lie.

    I my self get very little in the way to tax cuts compared to the most wealthy in our country. It’s a sliding scale – and I undersatnd how the Bushies use it. I’m like a lot of people in the country – I don’t like paying taxes – but I do like the goods and services that come from them. I also don’t like deficits! The GOP always use the phrase ‘tax and spenders’ when describing Democrats. Now DEMs can call the GOP ‘charge and spenders’.

    AlL I want is a government with a sound monitary policy for eveyone, not just the most wealthy in the country; everyone needs to contribute.

  29. Joe,

    We mock conservatives for parrotting talking points not because of parroting any talking point on our part. We do this because we have seen it occur so often. The most frequent conservative post is to repeat the exact same talking points (often cutting and pasting) regardless of how many times they have been refuted.

  30. rockstarmartin

    That’s a simplistic way to look at things. While technically spending bills are started in the house, the ultimate budget as well as much of what Congress has done has been initiated by the White House as the GOP Congress has ignored its responsibilities.

    Pork is one part of the deficit, but Bush’s policies are a more important factor. Clinton managed to balance the budget despite all usual pork from Congress.

  31. Blue Washington,

    You do have to give Bush some credit–for abilitity to pass things by in a deceptive manner. He has people excited by the tax cuts by giving trivial ones to most and huge ones to the ultra wealthy.

    It was also clever of Bush to work it so that the biggest tax cuts to the wealthy kick in over time so it wasn’t as apparent when he had to run for reelection.

    The guy has no vision on important matters, like the long term good of the country, but he is no fool when it comes to helping out his supporters.

  32. Indie,

    No, that’s not General Clark. Just someone parroting Republican talking points. General Clark would have been honest about Kerry’s backbone and consistency.

  33. Blue Washingotn,

    While you have a valid criticism of Bush, that’s not the first thing I’d cite as to why not to believe Bush. Some examples of things high on my list woud be:

    The many claims about Iraq, including that we were threatened by WMD or that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda and/or 9/11.

    The false statements about the Medicare drug bill, including his threats to prevent the people in his administration who knew the truth from testifying before Congress.

    His claims that nobody could have predicted what happened in New Orleans. First I didn’t believe it as I had heard the exact scenario which occured predicted on NPR a few day s earlier. I figured that If I knew about it, Bush should have. It only got worse for Bush now that he has been caught on tape being briefed on what he said could not have been predicted.

    Then there’s the entire 2000 campagin which was based upon lying about Kerry’s positions and never commenting on Kerry’s actual positions.

  34. Well it seems this post bought out some of the rethugs.

    Its funny how one minute repub’s want to say bush got this pass and bush got that passed but when you bring up the facts about how he has ran up so much debt then its all of a sudden the house’s fault.

    Well Bush’s party controls both branches of congress and the courts so if he really wanted to be a fiscal conservative he could.

    The fact that Kerry always leaned more on the fiscal conservative side is a well known.

    As for mocking conservatives? Bush and Rove, do a much heck of a better job on a daily basis than we ever could.

    So if I finally have some glee in the fact that the GOP has sold conservatism down the drain in honor of the cult of bush well so be it.

  35. They’re so scurred. 🙂

  36. Indie- scurred indeed otherwise why would they be here. 🙂

    Not lump all conservatives in a pot the way they do dems but for those that are bemoaning themselves being mocked they need to look at their leader. Bush and Rove are the reason’s conservatism isn’t looked upon with much relish these days especially when it comes to running up trillions of dollars in debt.

    I work every damn day and if i don’t pay the bills on time nobody raises a debt ceiling for me or any other working person out here.

    Even with the line item veto bush won’t veto what needs to be cut and that’s the point.

    After the line item veto and budgets continue to bloom who will he blame then? The house.

    I guess he will say americans have an addiction to credit as well as oil.

  37. Hi Ron,

    Naw, I certainly know there’s more to go after Bush over, but I was thinking more thinking of myself when I truly came to realize Bush was not interested in fiscal responsibility. What you have there is more icing on the cake; goes from bad to worse – each year is just more crap. Then they dress everything up with the Rove propaganda machine to cover up the crap they made – and there are just enough people out that bought it! Anyway, back to my point.

    For years and years, Republicans have pushed themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility. Not anymore they aren’t; and that’s where the Republicans completely lost me. That’s not a talking point, that’s a fact.

    I’m waiting the DEMs to come out and campaign on this.

  38. […] g under control. Many of us have our doubts, including Senator John Kerry, John Kerry to Introduce Line-Item Veto Proposal – “Let’s Hold the President’s Feet to the Fire” […]