Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006: Comparison of Three Versions
CRS Report for Congress
Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006:
Comparison of Three Versions
Virginia A. McMurtry
Specialist in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
President George W. Bush has repeatedly called for granting line item veto
authority to the President, and an Administration draft was sent to Congress on March
6, 2006. That bill, the Legislative Line Item Veto Act (LLIVA) of 2006, was introduced
the following day as S. 2381 and H.R. 4890. This report compares features of H.R.
4890/S. 2381 as introduced, H.R. 4890 as approved by the House Budget and Rules
Committees, and Title I of S. 3521(likewise titled LLIVA). This report will be updated
as events may warrant.
President George W. Bush has repeatedly called for granting line item veto authority
to the President, and an Administration proposal was sent to Congress on March 6, 2006.
That bill, the Legislative Line Item Veto Act (LLIVA) of 2006, was introduced the
following day as S. 2381 and H.R. 4890. This report provides a comparative overview
of some major features in three versions of the LLIVA: H.R. 4890/S. 2381 as introduced,
H.R. 4890 as approved by the House Budget and Rules Committees (House substitute),
and Title I of S. 3521, with provisions in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-130).1
On June 14, 2006, the House Budget Committee held markup of H.R. 4890 and
voted 24-9 to report the bill favorably, as amended. The next day the Rules Committee
held markup and voted 8-4 to approve an amended version in effectively the same form
as that approved by the Budget Committee.
Meanwhile, on June 14, 2006, Senator Judd Gregg, the chair of the Senate Budget
Committee, and others held a press conference to unveil the Stop Over-Spending Act,
1 The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998
(Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417). For further background, see CRS Issue Brief
IB89148, Item Veto and Expanded Impoundment Proposals, by Virginia A. McMurtry; and CRS
Report RS22425, Legislative Line Item Veto Act and Other Expedited Rescission Bills: Brief
Introduction, by Virginia A. McMurtry.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
which contains a modified version of the Legislative Line Item Veto Act in Title I, as well
as other budget process reforms. On June 15, 2006, the bill was introduced as S. 3521.
As indicated in the following table, there are some noteworthy differences among
the versions. Some features in H.R. 4890/S. 2381 as introduced have been modified to
lessen the President’s flexibility. For example, the original bills had no deadline for
submission of special rescission messages and no limit on the number of special
messages. The House substitute would require submission of special messages within 45
calendar days of enactment of the law which contained the amounts/provisions proposed
for cancellation, whereas S. 3521 would allow the submission of a special message up to
one year following enactment. On the other hand, S. 3521 would limit the President to
four special messages per calendar year, whereas the House substitute would set a limit
of five special messages per act, or 10 for omnibus measures. With respect to these
features, the House substitute would be more permissive in terms of total number of
special messages, whereas the Senate bill would be more lenient in the timing of their
The period for withholding of funds after submission of a special message is another
feature on which the bills differ. The LLIVA as introduced would allow the President to
withhold funds for up to 180 calendar days despite any congressional action. S. 3521
would limit withholding to 45 calendar days, as would the House substitute. However,
the House substitute version would allow the President a 45-day extension for a total
withholding period of up to 90 days. In addition, the LLIVA as introduced included no
sunset termination date, whereas the House substitute for H.R. 4890 provides that the
expedited rescission authority would expire after six years (October 1, 2012), and S. 3521
stipulates termination after four years (December 31, 2010).
Some changes in the House substitute and in S. 3521 may generate new concerns.
Both versions appear to narrow the range of possible targeted tax benefits that may be
proposed for cancellation. H.R. 4890/S. 2381 as introduced, along with provisions in P.L.
104-130, would cover revenue-losing measures affecting 100 or fewer beneficiaries. The
House substitute for H.R. 4890 would apply only to a revenue-losing provision affecting
a single beneficiary, whereas S. 3521 defines targeted tax benefits as affecting a
particular or limited group of taxpayers. Also, S. 3521 and the 1996 act would have the
Joint Committee on Taxation identify the targeted tax benefits; the House substitute
would designate the Chairmen of the Ways and Means and Finance Committees, and H.R.
Another change in the House substitute version of interest is its relationship to the
Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (known as ICA, Title X of P.L. 93-344). The version
approved by the House committees would repeal the ICA, except for Section 1013
(deferral authority for the President) and Section 1016 (suits by the Comptroller General).
H.R 4890/S. 2381, as introduced, and S. 3521 would amend Title X by striking Part C
(Line Item Veto Act of 1996) and inserting the text of LLIVA of 2006. At issue is whether
the framework for expedited rescissions in the LLIVA would augment, or replace,
rescission authority accorded the President under the ICA, to propose rescissions at any
time, but with the release of funds after 45 legislative days absent congressional approval.
Table 1. Comparison of selected provisions in three versions of the Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006
and the Line Item Veto Act of 1996
H.R. 4890/S. 2381, H.R. 4890, S. 3521, Title I,
Nature of provisionP.L. 104-130Line Item Veto Act of 1996as introducedas approved by House Budgetas introduced
and Rules Committees
pose of billTo give the President line itemTo provide for the expeditedTo provide for the expeditedTo enable the President and
veto authority with respect toconsideration of certainconsideration of certainCongress to rescind wasteful
appropriations, new directproposed rescissions of budgetproposed rescissions of budgetspending in an expedited
spending, and limited taxauthority.authority.manner.
b e ne fits.
ationship to ImpoundmentAdded a new Part C to containTitle X amended by striking PartTitle X amended by striking allTitle X amended by striking Part
rol Act (known as ICA,the Line Item Veto Act of 1996.C and inserting text of this act.of Part B (except for SectionsC, and inserting text of this act.
iki/CRS-RS22459 1013 and 1016, redesignated as
g/wSections 1019 and 1020) and all
s.orof Part C, and inserting text of
://wikiWithin five days (SundaysNone.Within 45 days of enactment ofWithin one year of the date of
httpadline for submission ofecial rescission orexcluded) after enactment ofthe law providing such amount,a law containing (1) the amountof discretionary budgetenactment of (1) any amount ofdiscretionary budget authority,
lation messagesitem, or tax benefit.authority, (2) the item of direct(2) item of direct spending, or
spending, or (3) the targeted tax(3) targeted tax benefit.
b e ne fit.
special message andFor each law from which aNot addressed.Limit of five special messagesLimit of four special messages
aft billcancellation is made, Presidentfor each regular act and 10per calendar year. One may be
may transmit a single message.messages for an omnibus budgetsubmitted with President’s
reconciliation or appropriationbudget and up to three at other
measure. No restriction ontimes. No restriction on
combining the three types ofcombining the three types of
cancellations in the samecancellations in the same
me ssa ge . me ssa ge .
esident may proposeYes, amounts in appropriationsYes, amounts in appropriationsYes, amounts in appropriationsYes, amounts in appropriations
scission of discretionaryacts or represented separately inacts or represented separately inacts or represented separately inacts or represented separately in
endingmanagers’ statement, managers’ statement, managers’ statement, managers’ statement,
committee reports, et al.committee reports, et al.committee reports, et al.committee reports, et al.
esident may propose toYes, may propose to rescindYes, may modify or rescind anyYes, may propose to rescindYes, may propose to rescind
fy/rescind directitems of new direct spending, items of direct spending, new direct spending provisionsnew items of direct spending,
andatory) spendingincluding entitlement authorityincluding entitlement authoritythat would result in spendingmeaning budget authority
and the food stamp program.and the food stamp program.increases. Does not cover provided by law other than
extension or reauthoriza- tion ofappropriations acts, mandatory
existing direct spending.spending provided in
appropriations acts, and
esident may propose to cancelYes, any revenue-losingYes, any revenue-losingYes, any revenue-losingYes, any revenue-losing
iki/CRS-RS22459enefitsprovision affecting 100 or fewerbeneficiaries. Joint Committeeprovision affecting 100 or fewerbeneficiaries, as identified byprovision affecting a singlebeneficiary. Chairmen of Waysprovision affecting a particularor limited group of taxpayers.
g/won Taxation to compile listing ofthe President. and Means and FinanceJoint Committee on Taxation to
s.orapplicable provisions.Committees to identify suchidentify such provisions.
leak provisio ns.
://wikiriatim rescissions possibleNo, because of three-dayYes, resubmission of sameNo, submission of duplicativePresident may resubmit a
httpdeadline for submittingrescission not addressed.proposals in messages isproposed cancellation one more
message.prohibited.time under either Part B (ICA)
or Part C (LLIVA).
oduction of bill approving orCancellations remain in effectChamber leadership to introduceChamber leadership to introduceChamber leadership to introduce
approving requestsunless disapproved by Congress.approval bill within two days ofapproval bill within two days ofapproval bill within two days of
For disapproval bill to have fast-receiving message, or thereafterreceiving message, or thereafterreceiving message, or thereafter
track procedures, must beany Member may introduceany Member may introduceany Member may introduce
introduced within five calendarapproval bill.approval bill.approval bill.
days of session after receipt of
the special message.
st-track in committeeCommittee reports disapprovalCommittee reports approval billCommittee reports approval billCommittee reports approval bill
bill by seventh day of sessionwithout substantive change bywithout amendment by seventhwithout revision by fifth day of
after introduction, or bill isfifth day of session afterlegislative day aftersession after introduction of bill
subject to discharge motionintroduction or bill isintroduction, or motion toor bill is automatically
(House) or automatic discharge automatically discharged. discharge is in order.discharged. Includes provisions
(Senate). for dealing with multiple
t-track provisions for floorYes, including one hour generalYes, debate on bill not to exceedYes, debate on bill not to exceedYes, debate on bill not to exceed
tiondebate and one hour for four hours in House and 10five hours in House and 10four hours in House and 10
amendments in House, and 10hours in Senate. Floor votehours in Senate.hours in Senate. Floor vote
hours total debate in Senate.must occur within 10 days aftermust occur within 10 days after
introduction of bill.introduction of bill.
dments/motion to strikeAmendments to strike aAmendments are prohibited inAmendments are prohibited inAmendments are prohibited in
iki/CRS-RS22459wedcancellation number or insert anumber allowed in Senate, orboth chambers, and divisions areprohibited in the House.both chambers, and divisions areprohibited in the House.both chambers, and divisions areprohibited in the House.
g/wwith support of 50 Members in
ngs must be used for deficitYes, if disapproval bill is notYes, amounts rescinded shall beYes, amounts rescinded shall beYes, amounts rescinded shall be
://wikiductionenacted within 30 days ofdedicated only to deficitdedicated only to deficitdedicated only to deficit
httpsession, 10 days later a lockboxreduction and not be used as anreduction and not be used as anreduction and not be used as an
mechanism goes into effect tooffset for other spendingoffset for other spendingoffset for other spending
ensure that deficit reductionincreases. Provisions forincreases. Provisions forincreases. Provisions for
occurs.adjustment of committeeadjustment of committeeadjustment of committee
allocations and budgetary caps.allocations and budgetary caps.allocations and budgetary caps.
e of Proposed CancellationNot addressed.Not addressed.Sense of the Congress provisionNot addressed.
thoritythat no President or other
executive branch official should
threaten to condition the
inclusion or exclusion of any
proposed cancellation under this
act to any Member’s vote in
Co ngr e ss.
esident may withholdNot an issue. Cancellations areYes, for a period not to exceedYes, for a period not to exceedYes, for a period not to exceed
endingpermanent absent enactment of a180 calendar days from the45 calendar days from the45 calendar days from receipt of
disapproval bill.transmittal of the specialtransmittal of the specialthe special message, President
message, President maymessage, President maymay withhold discretionary
withhold discretionary budgetwithhold discretionary budgetbudget authority, and suspend
authority or execution of directauthority, or suspend executionexecution of any item of direct
spending proposed forof items of direct spending orspending or targeted tax benefit
cancellation.targeted tax benefits proposedproposed for cancellation.
for cancellation. The President
may extend the period for
another 45 days; such
supplemental message to be
submitted between days 40 and
45 in the original period.
iki/CRS-RS22459ease of fundsIf disapproval bill is enacted, theprovision(s) that had beenPresident may make spendingavailable for obligation or allowPresident may make spendingavailable for obligation or allowPresident may make spendingavailable for obligation or allow
g/wcancelled take effect as of theexecution of the new directexecution of the new directexecution of the new direct
s.ordate of the original law. spending earlier than specified ifspending or targeted tax benefitspending earlier than specified if
leakhe determines that continuationearlier than specified if hehe determines that continuation
://wikiof the deferral or of thesuspension would not further thedetermines that continuation ofthe deferral or of the suspensionof the deferral or of thesuspension would not further the
httppurposes of this act.would not further the purposespurposes of this act.
of this act.
et provisionYes, act provided forNone specified.Yes, expires after six yearsYes, expires after four years
termination after eight years.(October 1, 2012).(December 31, 2010).
[Overturned by Supreme Court
after two years.]