and the Stenholm-Penny-Kasich substitute. I do so because I be-
lieve the line-item veto is a proven and effective procedure to cur-
tail wasteful spending. It is not a gimmick. Rather, it is a serious
means to restore fiscal responsibility to the spending process, and
is employed by virtually all States, including my State of Califor-
Currently, Mr. Chairman, House procedures allow two main ve-
hicles for pork: Tax bills and appropriations. Once inserted into an
omnibus tax bill, inappropriate tax breaks, and subsidies are im-
possible to remove without defeating the bill.
Second, even when the House votes to terminate a wasteful
project from an appropriation bill, the intended savings may be
respent by appropriators on other pet projects.
The Stenholm-Penny-Kasich substitute amendment not only pro-
vides for a Presidential line-item veto of appropriations, it also
remedies the procedures that shelter pork-barrel projects. This leg-
islation would allow the President to single out both special tax
benefits and wasteful projects in appropriations bills. Most impor-
tantly, it will establish a separate account in each rescission bill for
deficit reduction. This will enable the President to set aside saving
from any rescission to preserve spending cuts. As an original co-
sponsor of the Deficit Reduction Trust Fund and the Deficit Reduc-
tion Lock Box, I know this concept can work.
This year's deficit is expected to be about $220 billion â€” an im-
provement over prior years with better news to come. But to assure
the trend continue downward we need to give the President this ef-
fect tool to cut fat from appropriations bills and to reduce the na-
tional deficit. I urge my colleagues to help restore fiscal responsibil-
ity to Congress by passing this measure and the Stenholm sub-
Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gen-
tleman from California [Mr. Cox], a very valuable member of the
Mr. COX. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the line-item veto.
The line-item veto unfortunately is not before us today. Instead,
H.R. 4600 is best described as pointing a garden hose at a forest
fire. It is not a bad bill. It moves us a tiny step in the right direc-
tion. But we have a much better opportunity in the form of the
Michel-Solomon substitute which is closest among our alternatives
to the real line-item veto.
Mr. Chairman, there are opponents to the line-item veto cer-
tainly in the House. We have debated before the constitutional rea-
sons that people have to oppose a line-item veto. These consist
largely in concerns about shifting power from the legislature to the
executive. Those arguments have been heard by the American peo-
ple and the verdict is in. The American people in large numbers
want a real line-item veto. That is why this President campaigned
Mr. Chairman, certainly no one can suspect partisan politics in
this since I as a Republican want to give Democratic President Bill
Clinton a line-item veto. That is why we should vote in favor of the
Mr. Chairman, our deficit spending crisis has been building now
for over 20 years. It threatens now to overwhelm our entire econ-
omy. H.R. 4600, the bill before us just now, would cause only the
most marginal change in the budget act. It would not in any way
enhance the President's weak existing power. It would only affect
the timing of its use. A line-item veto should encourage budget sav-
ings by letting a President cut spending unless both Houses of Con-
gress vote him down. This bill would perpetuate the current bias
in favor of spending. It would let either House kill a spending cut
simply by failing to vote on it. Worse yet, it is temporary. It applies
only for this Congress. We are about to adjourn in 3 months. Worst
of all, it does not even let the President channel any savings to def-
icit reduction, so the Congress is free to spend the found money on
something else. This bill forces the President to propose rescissions
within 3 days of receiving one of our mammoth appropriations
bills. That is unworkable. A real line-item veto, like the Michel-Sol-
omon substitute, would let the President exercise his rescission au-
thority at any time during the fiscal year.
Finally, this bill, H.R. 4600, could be waived at any time by this
House. Of course we have seen how over half of the budget meas-
ures considered in this House during the last Congress came to us
under a rule that waived the Budget Act in its entirety. The
Michel-Solomon substitute will not permit that.
Mr. Chairman, it is now too late for toothless tinkering. Before
sundown today, our Government will lose $1 billion. We will lose
over $1 billion every day that our Grovemment is open for business
this year. We will spend according to President Clinton's budget
$1.5 trillion, that is $1,500 billion in the next year. In the next 3
years, we will go to $1.6 trillion, $1.7 trillion, and finally in 1998
$1.8 trillion in spending.
Mr. Chairman, our children's jobs are literally vanishing before
our eyes, pawned by all of this deficit spending so that Congress
and the President can stave off real reform for a few more years.
Now we are being offered a bit of camouflage, so-called expedited
rescission this week, so-called entitlement caps next week, a legis-
lative costume party where congressional spendthrifts can play
Scrooge for a day.
Mr. Chairman, this is an unworthy response to a profound crisis.
The American people have told us in no uncertain terms that they
demand real change, a real line-item veto, the Michel-Solomon sub-
Mr. Chairman, I should say a word about the Stenholm-Penny-
Kasich amendment. It, too, is worthy of consideration, but the best
alternative is the Michel-Solomon substitute.
Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman
from California [Mr. Fazio].
Mr. FAZIO. Mr. Chairman, I think the debate has left the im-
pression that somehow Congress has not fulfilled its responsibil-
ities on recission of line items appropriations. Historically I think
we have done far better than most people realize.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to read into the RECORD the sum-
mary of material that I will place in the RECORD about just what
has happened in the last 20 years since the modem Budget Act
We have had the Presidents who served during that period ask
us 1,084 times to rescind spending. That spending reduction re-
quested of us would total just under $73 billion. We have agreed
to about $23 billion of the Presidents' requests, but more important
we have gone beyond the Presidents' requests and reduced addi-
tionally appropriations by almost $70 billion more during that 20-
In other words, Congress has actually rescinded almost $20 bil-
lion more than we have been asked for by the Presidents who
served between 1974 and the present time. In other words. Con-
gress has exceeded the requests by $20 billion while not agreeing
exactly with the priorities of the administrations that have served
during this period.
Mr. Chairman, I think it would also be important to point out
that the Congress has in 43 of the last 49 years appropriated less
money than we were requested to by the various Presidents who
served during that period. In fact, we have given the President, in
a generic sense, $73 billion less than requested in the last decade;
$73 billion less than we were asked to spend in the budgets sub-
mitted to us by the two Presidents who served during the last dec-
Mr. Chairman, if we are somehow derelict in our duty to cut
spending in the appropriations process in the line items that come
to us in the President's budget, I am at a loss to know what more
we could have done. We have set an example.
Mr. Chairman, I include the document referred to in my re-
marks, as follows:
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But the truly troublesome facet of the Stenholm proposal is that
the President does not have to identify objectionable areas of
spending or taxation in the time frame he signs a bill. He can hold
those issues back until he needs the vote or votes of the members
in question. Perhaps he expects problems on the passage of next
year's budget. Perhaps there will be a war powers issue. No Presi-
dent with the political sense to hold the office would send one of
these rescissions up until the affected member or members crossed
the line. What we are doing to our forefathers' carefully crafted no-
tion of checks and balances is to hand the branch of Grovemment
whose authority has grown most rapidly in recent times, a perma-
nent form of political blackmail to insure our submission. The dif-
ference between having a 3-day period in which a rescission would
receive expedited procedure Â£md an indefinite period might well
prove to be the difference between having a President and a king.
George Washington helped our Nation avoid a monarchy. Let us
not impose one over 200 years later.
Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gen-
tleman from Oklahoma [Mr. LuCAS], the newest member of the
Committee on Government Operations.
Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I thank my ranking Member, Mr.
Clinger, for yielding me this time.
Mr. Chairman, I am happy the House today will have oppor-
tunity to pass a true line item veto, a desperately needed reform
to get our fiscal house in order. Republicans in Congress have been
fighting for the line-item veto for over a decade. We agree with can-
didate Bill Clinton who, during the 1992 presidential campaign, en-
dorsed the line-item veto to eliminate pork-barrel projects and cut
Unfortunately, H.R. 4600 will not give the President what he
claims he wants. H.R. 4600 is but a subterfuge, a sad imposter of
the true line-item veto. A genuine item veto allows the President
to cancel wasteful spending items unless both houses of Congress
override the veto by a two-thirds vote. This bill, however, would
allow a bare majority of either house of Congress to block any re-
scission. Even worse, this bill would only apply to this year's appro-
priations bills, all of which the House has already passed. In short,
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4600 is business as usual, and business as usual
is what got us into this budgetary mess in the first place.
In fact, H.R. 4600 is so weak that we must ask why we are even
bothering to consider it now. On April 29, 1993, the House passed
another measure identical to this one. Why pass the same bill
twice? Will that in any way improve its chances of becoming law?
Of course not. It seems the only reason for debating this issue
again is to give political cover to those Democrats who will be
forced by their liberal leadership into withdrawing support for the
"A to Z" spending cuts plan, the only opportunity for cutting spend-
ing we will have this year. As a proud new member of the Govern-
ment Operations Committee, I note that all these problems with
H.R. 4600 could have been remedied in committee had our chair-
man not inexplicability waived jurisdiction over this bill.
Despite the weaknesses of H.R. 4600, we will yet have oppor-
tunity to enact a true line-item veto. The Michel-Solomon sub-
stitute amendment will grant the President permanent authority to
veto items in appropriations bills and targeted tax benefits in reve-
nue bills. It requires both the President and Congress to act within
20 days, and provides for a vote on the entire package of rescis-
sions. Most importantly, it requires a two-thirds majority of both
houses to override the veto or rescission. While the Stenholm sub-
stitute may be an acceptable improvement over H.R. 4600, the
Michel-Solomon substitute is preferable because it will genuinely
reform the rescission process in order to protect the American tax-
payer from wasteful spending.
During my tenure as an Oklahoma State legislator, I witnessed
firsthand how the line-item veto helped to restrain excessive spend-
ing. Here in Congress, the line-item veto will be an effective check
on Congress's unfettered power of the purse, and a good way to
counter the pressure special interests place on Congress to hike
spending higher and higher. In the name of meaningful budget re-
form to protect generations of American taxpayers, I urge my col-
leagues to support the Michel-Solomon amendment.
Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gen-
tleman from Illinois [Mr. Fawell].
Mr. FAWELL. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding
me this time.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Solomon-Michel substitute
to the expedited rescissions act.
Let there be no mistake about the series of votes we will have
today. The Solomon-Michel substitute is the only true line-item
veto proposal before us. If you campaigned for the line-item veto
you vote for the Solomon-Michel substitute. Accept no substitutes.
The Solomon-Michel proposal is the real thing, because it gives the
President the authority to not spend money for a project unless
Congress passes a bill disapproving the rescission, thus requiring
Congress to act to stop the rescission. Then the President could
veto the disapproval, and Congress could only force the expenditure
of the line item by a two-thirds vote overriding the veto.
The other proposal before us, the Spratt proposal, is not a line-
item veto bill. Aiid it is only a temporary provision at best and, of
course, it has all of those provisions that allows the Committee on
Rules to waive and dismiss the rules.
Our Committee on Rules has sometimes been described as a com-
mittee that has a plethora of waivers and then once in a while will
enforce the rule.
If we are going to blame the President for not controlling spend-
ing, and we like to do that, but we know Congress is in control,
then let us at least give him coequal power to do something about
it. Give him the real line-item veto.
I urge my colleagues to support the Solomon-Michel substitute,
the real thing, the real line-item veto.
Should this substitute fail, I then will support the Stenholm-
Penny-Kasich substitute, because it is a vast improvement over the
enhanced rescission power we presently have.
Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I 3deld myself 1 minute, the re-
mainder of my time.
Mr. Chairman, in closing, I would just urge a vote for the Michel-
Solomon substitute, because as has been indicated here, it is the
only true line-item veto.
We are engaged here in, I think, an exercise of futiUty if we were
to pass 4600. It has not been dealt with by the other body in an
entire year. I think we need to go on record here today as support-
ing a true line-item veto.
We may not achieve the goal in this Congress, but we certainly
can send a signal that this is what this body supports, not smoke
and mirrors, but true deficit reduction which would be represented
by a plus vote, an aye vote, for the Michel-Solomon substitute.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. ZELIFF. Mr. Chairman, due to the funeral service of a close,
personal friend of mine, Mike Tinios, I was unable to vote on the
amendments and final passage of H.R. 4600, Expedited Rescissions
Act of 1994. Had I been present, I would have voted to oppose the
Spratt-Derrick amendment and supported both the Stenholm-
Penny-Kasich amendment and the Michel-Solomon amendment.
Budget process reform is important. Reducing the deficit is vital.
If we are ever going to make any progress to cut spending and
begin to dig ourselves out from under the staggering debt that we
have accumulated over years â€” a debt which costs the taxpayer over
$212 billion a year in interest alone â€” ^we must take spending cut
action now. That is why RoB ANDREWS and I launched the A-to-
Z spending cuts plan, to start a process that will result in real
spending cuts, real deficit reduction. We cannot continue spending
taxpayer dollars with reckless abandon and, in the process, saddle
our children and grandchildren with greater and greater debt.
Make no mistake, Mr. Chairman, the so-called expedited rescis-
sions bill is a transparent political move aimed at derailing the A-
to-Z train. 204 members have already signed our discharge peti-
tion. It has been no secret that the leadership is terrified at the
prospect of returning the power of the purse to the rank and file
members of the House. Rather than continuing the status quo,
where a few powerful committee chairman dictate our funding pri-
orities, A to Z opens the process to all Members of Congress.
A to Z provides a 56-hour session devoted exclusively to cutting
the budget. Everything is on the table, entitlements, discretionary
programs, everything. Any Member may offer an amendment to cut
spending â€” no restrictive rules. Programs that stand on their merits
will be funded; those that don't will be cut. It's just that simple.
The American people mistakenly believe that Congress follows
this process already. We do not, and this must change. The Spratt
version of the Expedited Rescissions Act does not give us the re-
forms that are so desperately needed to cut spending and balance
the budget. We need real spending cuts an real deficit reduction
now, not the weak process changes called for in H.R. 4600.
For the sake of future generations, we must do better. I hope the
House leadership will listen to the people and let the A-to-Z plan
move forward. We should support the Stenholm and Solomon budg-
et process reforms. They improve the process, but they don't pro-
vide spending cuts now. We need both real budget process reform
and we need real A-to-Z spending cuts now.
If the Stenholm or Solomon amendments pass, I would support
final passage of H.R. 4600. If both of these amendment fail, then
I would vote to oppose final passage.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, had I been present, I would have voted
to oppose the rule of H.R. 3937, the Export Administration Act.
Mr. FRANKS of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, this exact same re-
scissions bill was considered by the House last year. Here it is
again for our consideration. How many more times will the fiscally
irresponsible majority in Congress pretend to be fiscally responsible
before the public catches on?
The bill that the Democrats have brought up today is not a real
line-item veto. It is deceptive to say that it is. A Presidential veto
requires Congress to get a two-thirds majority to overrule it. This
bill only requires a majority vote. In addition, this bill does not
even provide an actual veto. A veto majority overrules a presi-
dential decision. In this bill a majority vote is needed, not to reject
the President's request to delete spending, but to approve it. Any-
thing less keeps that wasteful spending in the bill for the rest of
I will support two amendments to this bill to make it more
meaningful. The bipartisan Kasich substitute would allow the
President the option to put savings frora a rescission into an ac-
count dedicated for deficit reduction. It would also force Congress
to defeat a presidential veto in order to keep spending in a bill.
My first choice for passage would be the Michel substitute, which
would give the President a line-item veto as powerful as the one
held by Governors of 43 States. For those Americans, such as those
in Connecticut, who are not represented by a Grovemor with a line-
item veto, let me explain this substitute. It would allow the Presi-
dent to reject spending projects unless Congress overruled the re-
scission with a two-thirds majority vote. This is a true line-item
veto. As a sponsor of a constitutional amendment giving the Presi-
dent a line-item veto, I would be very pleased to see the Michel
amendment become law.
Mr. LAZIO. Mr. Chairman, like many of us who were elected to
the 103d Congress, I was sent to Washington with a mandate for
change. For the past 19 months my highest priorities have been re-
ducing the Federal debt and the deficit. Several times in those 19
months I have been faced with challenges to carry out this man-
date. Today is another such occasion.
Today, while I voted for the Expedited Rescission Act of 1994, I
have to say this Congress could do better for the American people.
This bill is a step in the right direction. The existing rescission
process is a joke, and makes it harder to cut wasteful spending in-
stead of easier. We have significantly strengthened the process by
adopting the Penny-Kasich-Stenholm amendment, for which I
voted. However, we could have improved it even more by adopting
the Michel-Solomon amendment, which I also supported. Congress
needs to deal with the debt and deficit right now. We need to go
further and adopt a line-item veto. I will continue to work for op-
portunities to make the line-item veto a reality.
The Expedited Rescission Act of 1994 should not be considered
a replacement for the line-item veto or the A-to-Z spending cuts
package. As a cosponsor of the A to Z proposal, and a signer of the
discharge petition. I urge the leadership on the other side of the
aisle to move A-to-Z to the floor. We must not sit back and point
to our minor successes, but must directly deal with America's prob-
lems. Our work is just beginning. Let's also enact a line-item veto
and the A-to-Z proposal.
Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 4600, the
Expedited Rescissions Act of 1994.
At the outset it is significant to note that H.R. 4600 is identical
to a bill which just last year passed the House with strong support,
yet received no further legislative action. In this regard, it is in-