ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
A bipartisan group of senators led by Arizona Republican John McCain today unveiled a proposal to give President Obama line-item veto authority in an effort to reduce wasteful spending in legislation sent to the White House.
“People are angry about bridges to nowhere. People are angry about pork barrel projects and bike paths and all of these things that are inserted into appropriations bills in the middle of the night,” McCain said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “The approval rating of Congress is in the teens if we’re lucky. I think this has far more impact than even perhaps the fiscal impact that it might have. It may help restore some of the confidence of the American people that believe that we are no longer careful stewards of their tax dollars.”
Joining McCain’s push were fellow Republicans Rob Portman of Ohio and Dan Coats of Indiana as well as Democrats Tom Carper of Delaware, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both of Colorado.
“I think this tool will give the president and the Congress the ability to focus on what’s really important and what we can let go of,” Bennet said. “I think this is a very important tool in the toolbox.”
“I’m convinced it’ll work and I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t,” said Portman.
“America is not a cowardly country,” Manchin said. “We’ve got to make these difficult decisions.”
The Obama administration called for this authority last year and the senators anticipate that the president will include the proposal in the budget that is set to be unveiled next Monday.