It is increasingly difficult to distinguish the friends of liberty from the foes. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is perceived by Republicans to be a “conservative,” but despite that misleading label, Ryan is determined to hand a crown, jewel by jewel, to the President in the form of line-item veto power.
As reported by The New American, Republican Ryan and Democrat Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) united in this latest proffer of unconstitutional power by cosponsoring the Expedited Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2011, a bill endowing the White House with the prerogative of mandating an up-or-down vote on any budget expenditure that the President deems unacceptable.
On Wednesday, February 8, following a debate on the floor by the entire chamber, the House voted on the line-item measure and passed it 254-173. The bill was supported by 57 Democrats, while 41 Republicans voted against it.
Although passage of the bill was a foregone conclusion, given Congress’ propensity for ceding its power to the President, during floor debate Van Hollen took time to assuage the fears of colleagues and constituents worried about the violation of the separation of powers. Van Hollen declared that the constitutionality “question needs to be put to rest,” because Congress would maintain the right to have the last word through the approval process provided for in the legislation.
That’s not much of a comfort particularly in light of the very accurate observation made by The John Birch Society in an alert sent to members: “H.R. 3521 dramatically and unilaterally enhances the power of the Executive Branch.”
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Photo of Paul Ryan: AP Images