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Feingold Announces Line-Item Veto Hearing

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) announced Tuesday that the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution would a hold a hearing this week to examine the line-item veto, emerging as a potential ally in President Barack Obama’s unlikely pursuit of the authority.

Feingold announced the hearing just one day after Obama sent up the request for Congress to grant him the authority to slash spending. The Wisconsin Democrat said Monday that Obama’s request “appears to be constitutional and would be a useful tool to help eliminate wasteful spending.” Feingold has pushed a similar plan in the Senate.

The Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act would allow the president to submit a package of rescissions shortly after a spending bill is passed. Congress would have to consider the recommendations as a package, without amendment, and hold an up-or-down vote within a specified time frame.

Appropriators in both chambers blasted the plan Monday, claiming it would strip the legislative branch of its power of the purse.

The subcommittee hearing slated for Wednesday will feature testimony from Jeffrey Liebman, acting deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget; Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense; and Charles Cooper, a partner at Cooper & Kirk and a former assistant attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan.

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