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Line-item veto

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In government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to veto parts of a bill, usually budget appropriations. This enables an executive to nullify specific provisions of a bill, rather than only being able to approve or veto a bill in its entirety.

In the United States of America

The line-item veto has been desired by most U.S. Presidents, in order to increase the president's control over the enactment of law. The rationale usually given by the executive branch is that the president should have the power to curtail pork barrel spending, or concentrated spending that helps a tiny portion of the country, but is funded by the entire country. This power is held by many state governors in the United States of America.

The President of the United States was briefly granted this power in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. It was used once before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan declared it unconstitutional on February 12, 1998. This ruling was subsequently affirmed on June 25, 1998 by a 6-3 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Clinton v. City of New York.

The Confederate States Constitution of 1861 allowed line item veto.

As of 2005, 43 states allow the line item veto. The exceptions are Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

There have been arguments both for and against a federal line veto. Its primary benefit for the people is that it would discourage the addition of unpopular riders unrelated to the bill, since the president could line veto these items and then they could be defeated easily in legislature. On the other hand, it may delegate excessive legislative power to the executive, since the president could strike out conditions, restrictions, or penalties they disagreed with, upsetting the Constitution's checks and balances.

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