A while back we noted that when it comes to budget deficits and national debt, Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution. So with that mind, it was with great interest to read Walter Alarkon’s piece in The Hill yesterday about President Barack Obama looking to ask Congress for a “tool similar to a line-item veto that would let him single out new spending cuts.”
First of all, it’s laughable that President Obama says with a straight face that he wants to do something about runaway deficits and soaring national debt. Seriously, how can anyone take Obama and Democrats seriously after spending nearly $1 trillion on that boondoggle of a stimulus, the $410 billion omnibus spending package, a $3.5 trillion budget and the trillion-plus dollar takeover of healthcare (all on partisan line votes mind you)?
For arguments sake, we’ll put on a tinfoil cap and suspend reality for a moment and say Obama is being sincere. What are the chances of getting a line-item veto authority or something similar passed through a Democrat controlled Congress? Well, let’s look at the Democrat record on this issue. Just as Democrats opposed a Constitutional Amendment mandating a balanced budget, Democrats also opposed line-item veto authority for the President.
In 1996, 28 Senate Democrats Voted AGAINST Granting The President Line-Item Veto Authority:
• 14 of the 28 Senate Democrats who voted against granting the President line-item veto authority are still in the Senate. (S. 4, CQ Vote #56: Adopted 69-31: D 19-28; R 50-3; I 0-0, 3/27/96, Akaka, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Conrad, Dodd, Inouye, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Mikulski, Murray, Reid and Rockefeller voted Nay)
In 1995, 27 Senate Democrats Voted AGAINST Approving Presidential Line-Item Veto:
• 15 of the 27 Senate Democrats who voted against approving the President line-item veto authority are still in the Senate. (S. 4, CQ Vote #115: Passed 69-29: D 19-27; R 50-2; I 0-0, 3/23/95, Akaka, Baucus, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Conrad, Dodd, Inouye, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Mikulski, Murray, Reid and Rockefeller voted Nay)
Democrat opposition to the line-item veto authority may have been 15 years ago, but has anything changed? Uh, in short, no. As Alarkon notes in his article, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposed a new line-item veto initiative four years ago when President George W. Bush proposed it.
Looks like Obama is about to find out for himself what we already know: Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.