Robert Hurt: The legislative line-item veto
This past week, the House completed passage of four pieces of legislation that would eliminate Washington, DC accounting gimmicks, increase transparency, and put an end to business as usual when it comes to out of control spending in Washington.
One of these measures was H.R. 3521, sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan, which would grant the president the authority to veto wasteful spending provisions in appropriations bills and send such provisions back to Congress for an up or down vote to reduce the deficit.
I delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of this measure. You may watch the video of my remarks by visiting
“I rise today in support of the Legislative Line-Item Veto Act and I thank Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Van Hollen for their work on this important bipartisan legislation.
“At a time when we are borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend, there is no more important time for Congress to have an honest conversation about balancing our federal budget and cutting wasteful government spending.
“It is clear that real reform is needed in our flawed federal budget process.
“The real reforms that we have considered over the last two weeks seek to improve this flawed process by getting at the root of the Washington accounting gimmicks that have plagued Congress for years.
“These reforms will provide more federal government transparency and accountability and put an end to business as usual when it comes to out of control spending in Washington.
“That is why I support this Line-Item Veto legislation. This bill would give the President the ability to veto wasteful spending provisions as a part of the appropriations process.
“This bill and the remaining budget reform bills will give the American people an honest picture of how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent and will move us one step closer to addressing the debt crisis that threatens the very future of this great nation.
“Mr. Chairman, we know that both sides of the aisle have been a part of the problem when it comes to Washington’s reckless spending habit. What we have failed to recognize is that both sides must be a part of the solution.
“I urge all of my colleagues to support this Line-Item Veto bill and the rest of our budget reform proposals – proposals that hold the promise of a balanced and honest federal budget and a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
“I thank the gentleman for yielding and I yield back the balance of my time.”
Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District in the United States Congress.