Wednesday, October 10, 2007


FACT: The Republican Congress Passed A Presidential Line-Item Veto In 1996: The Line-Item Veto Passed The House And Senate With Overwhelming Majorities And The Support Of Nearly Every Republican. The Senate passed the line-item veto 69-31, with 50 Republicans and 19 Democrats supporting it. Even liberal Democrats like Sen. Ted Kennedy And Sen. Russ Feingold voted for the line-item veto. In the House, the line-item veto passed 294-134, with 223 Republicans and 71 Democrats supporting it. Even liberal Democrats like then-Rep. Chuck Schumer voted for the line-item veto. (S. 4, CQ Vote #56: Adopted 69-31: R 50-3; D 19-28, 3/27/96; H.R. 2, CQ Vote #95: Passed 294-134: R 223-4; D 71-129, 2/6/95)

FACT: President Bill Clinton Used The Line-Item Veto To Cut Spending: President Clinton Used The Line-Item Veto To Cut Pork Intended For New York. "In 1996 Republicans are as good as their word, and grant the opposition's Bill Clinton a broad new power to strip wasteful spending. Mr. Clinton is enthusiastic, and in August 1997 uses his tool for the first time to strike down a special-interest provision tucked in a bill. That provision gives New York hospitals a unique right to bilk extra Medicaid money, and the veto is expected to save federal taxpayers at least $200 million." (Kimberley A. Strassel, "Rudy's Big Apple Baggage," The Wall Street Journal,, 4/13/07

The Line-Item Veto Of The New York Subsidy Was Expected To Save Federal Taxpayers $200 Million. "It was estimated that the veto would save the Federal Government at least $200 million." (Alison Mitchell, "President Makes First Use Of New Veto," The New York Times, 8/12/97)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani Took The Line-Item Veto All The Way To The Supreme Court: Mayor Giuliani Decided To Sue In Federal Court To Challenge The Constitutionality Of The Line-Item Veto. "New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani challenged the constitutionality of the presidential line-item veto on Thursday in a federal lawsuit seeking to keep New York from losing Medicaid funds. President Clinton's August veto 'unfairly targets the city and the state of New York,' Giuliani said. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court here." (Tom Raum, "N.Y. Mayor Fights Line-Item Veto," The Associated Press, 10/16/97)

Mayor Giuliani Sued All The Way To The Supreme Court To Have The Presidential Line-Item Veto Declared Unconstitutional. "Quicker than a Big Apple pol can say "pork," New York officials sue, challenging the line item veto's constitutionality. That suit, Clinton v. City of New York, goes all the way to the Supremes, which in 1998 put the kibosh on veto authority. The kicker? The guy who brought the suit and won--or, rather, the guy who helped stall one of the more powerful tools for reining in government spending--was none other than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani." (Kimberley A. Strassel, "Rudy's Big Apple Baggage," The Wall Street Journal,, 4/13/07)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani's Lawsuit Killed The Line-Item Veto: In June 1996, The Supreme Court Decided In Favor Of Mayor Giuliani And Struck Down The Line-Item Veto As Unconstitutional. "The Supreme Court yesterday struck down President Clinton's line-item veto power in a ruling that preserved $ 1.2 billion in Medicaid funding for 89 hospitals in New York City. In a 6-to-3 ruling that the majority said was of 'profound importance' to the Constitution's separation of powers, the court ruled that the President must accept or veto a law passed by Congress in its entirety and cannot pick and choose among sections of the bill to curb pork-barrel spending." (Richard Sisk and Frank Lombardi, "City Gains 1.2B From Line-Item Veto Ax," [New York] Daily News, 6/26/98

· In The Dissent, Conservative Justice Antonio Scalia Wrote That The Line-Item Veto Is "Entirely In Accord With The Constitution." "In a dissent joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, Justice Antonio Scalia said opponents of the veto had 'succeeded in faking out the Supreme Court.' He called the authority 'entirely in accord with the Constitution.'" (Richard Sisk and Frank Lombardi, "City Gains 1.2B From Line-Item Veto Ax," [New York] Daily News, 6/26/98)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani Celebrated The Death Of The Line-Item Veto: Mayor Giuliani Praised The Death Of The Line-Item Veto As A "Very, Very Big Victory For New York City And For New York State." "Mayor Giuliani called the ruling a 'very, very big victory for New York City and for New York State' that would keep in place the federal Medicaid reimbursement formula for hospitals serving poor patients without insurance. 'Why the Clinton administration, that began on a note of wanting to give universal health care, ended up vetoing this particular area of legislation as a political matter, I will never understand,' Giuliani said." (Richard Sisk and Frank Lombardi, "City Gains 1.2B From Line-Item Veto Ax," [New York] Daily News, 6/26/98)

A Boston Herald Editorial Excoriated Giuliani's Attack On The Line-Item Veto:

· "The Politics Of Self-Interest." "For a classic example of the politics of self-interest, you can't beat New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's challenge to the line-item veto." (Editorial, "Rudy Gets It All Wrong," Boston Herald, 10/19/97)

· "Giuliani Wants His Piece Of The Pie, And Doesn't Care Who Gets Hurt In The Process." "This is no disinterested argument over constitutional principles. Giuliani wants his piece of the pie, and doesn't care who gets hurt in the process." (Editorial, "Rudy Gets It All Wrong," Boston Herald, 10/19/97)

· "It's A Complicated Issue That … Authorities Should Resolve Among Themselves." "The mayor is miffed because Clinton, in one of his first exercises of the veto, rejected a measure that would have confirmed the legality of a set of New York state taxes on hospitals and other health-care providers to help pay for Medicaid. … It's a complicated issue that municipal, state and federal authorities should resolve among themselves - on the merits and in the proper setting." (Editorial, "Rudy Gets It All Wrong," Boston Herald, 10/19/97)

· "Sheer Money-Grubbing Insanity." "But to try to kill the line-item veto over this most parochial of issues is sheer money-grubbing insanity. New York has always been known for a grasping, devil-take-the-hindmost ethos. Giuliani does nothing to dispel that image." (Editorial, "Rudy Gets It All Wrong," Boston Herald, 10/19/97)

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