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propriates lump sums to be available for broad purposes. Individual projects are usually mentioned only in committee reports accompanying the legislation and other nonstatutory material. This practice would make it difficult for a President to use the item veto effectively.

Many States require—by constitutional provision, statute, or judicial interpretation-detailed itemized appropriations mirroring the structure of the governor's budget proposal. Federal appropriations language could be modified to make the item veto more effective. If Congress appropriated narrowly by line-item, however, the executive branch would lose much of the discretion it now enjoys in implementing appropriation law. The cost, in executive flexibility and congressional independence, may be too great.

Before we emulate the States, we ought to study more closely their experience with the item veto and its relation to the Federal situation.

As a first step, the Rules Committee requested the expert assistance of the Congressional Research Service to help prepare this study of the item veto. The Service was asked to review the States' experience with the item veto and to explain the origin and evolution of the idea, noting the differences between State and Federal budgeting which merit concern about transferring the item veto from the States to the Federal level. The Congressional Research Service has done a superb job. Louis Fisher, of the Government Division, and Morton Rosenberg, of the American Law Division, deserve the Committee's special thanks for heading up the project. Ronald Moe and Louis Fisher, of the Government Division, wrote chapter one, "Item Veto as a State Reform: Its Origin and Evolution", and chapter V, "Impact of the Item Veto." The tables showing contemporary State practices were prepared by Gary Galemore, Government Division. Louis Fisher wrote the section entitled “The Legislative Role in Budget Decisions." Virginia McMurtry, Government Division, wrote the section entitled “Alternatives to the Item Veto Already Available to the President." My staff contributed. “The Structure of Appropriation Bills" and chapter IV, "Procedural Questions."

Morton Rosenberg and Jay Shampansky, American Law Division, wrote the legal analysis contained in "Vagaries and Varieties in Interpreting Governors' Item-Veto Authority." Mr. Killian, Senior Specialist in American Constitutional Law, wrote “Constitutionality of Empowering Item Veto by Legislation.

The appendix contains some very useful material, including the texts of State constitutional provisions granting item-veto authority. Louis Fisher made the charts showing when States adopted the item veto. Stephen Stathis, Government Division, prepared "The First Item Veto” which sets the context for (and includes the major speech introducing) the item veto in the Confederate Constitution. Morton Rosenberg, Jay Shampansky, Louis Fisher, and Gary Galemore prepared Appendix C which displays relevant texts from State constitutions. Richard A. Davis completed the list of constitutional amendments for an item veto. Edward M. Davis III summarized recent proposals to enact item-veto authority by statute. Louis Fisher prepared “Annotated Citations of Item Veto Cases.”

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Sherry Shapiro, senior bibliographer, Library Services Division, put together "Item Veto: Selected References."

This report provides an objective study of the States' experience with the item veto. It offers a preliminary examination of the question: To what extent can the States' experience with item-veto authority be applied to the Federal situation? The print also offers a legal analysis of issues raised in the many item-veto cases generated at the State level. The study addresses constitutional questions suggested by the item veto, in particular, the separation of powers. This is a careful first look at the questions raised by the item veto; it will surely contribute to a deeper understanding of the item veto proposals. Sincerely yours,


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Chapter II. The Applicability of State Practices to the Federal Situation-


The Legislative Role in Budget Decisions—Continued

Authorization-appropriation process...

Executive-legislative relations

The Structure of Federal and State Appropriation Bills...

The purpose of the item veto and the structure of appropriations..

The composition of Federal and State spending...

Mandating itemization

Executive discretion and the degree of itemization..

The Governor's role in the budget process and itemization in State

appropriation bills ...

State and Federal appropriations for park lands.

State and Federal appropriations for roads

State and Federal appropriations for education.

Single-subject appropriation bills ..

The item veto as an executive bargaining tool.

Federal appropriations allocated in committee reports ..

Federal appropriations allocated in committee reports by reference to

administration requests ......

The legal effect of allocations in committee reports.......

Statutory controls and allocations incorporated by reference.

Statutory controls—“As Authorized By Law”


Alternatives to the Item Veto at the Federal Level: Historical Experience

and Recent Statutory Proposals.






Alternative of Selective Reallocation

Alternative of Selective Enforcement.

The Alternative of Impoundment....

Impoundments before 1968

Conflicts during the Nixon years..

The Impoundment Control Act of 1974

Chapter III. Legal Analysis..

Vagaries and Varieties in Interpreting Governors' Item Veto Authority

What is an appropriations measure?.

What are the meanings of the terms “item”, “parts”, or “section”?

Can an item veto be used on provisos, instructions, limitations or

conditions on appropriations?...

How far can a legislature go in attempting to curb a Governor's item

veto by using conditions, limitations, or other devices?

Application of item veto to substantive provisions ..

Does the item veto power include the power to reduce?.

The item veto-a negative power?.

Effect of adjournment on use of item veto

Effect of an invalid item veto.....


Constitutionality of Empowering Item Veto by Legislation

The veto power.

The item veto.

The constitutional setting.

The appointments controversy as a paradigm

The legislative veto.

The item veto by statute

Item veto by delegation

Congressional definition of "bill”

Conclusion ....

Chapter IV. Procedural Questions.

Rules and Precedents Concerning Reconsideration of Vetoed Bills.

Return of Disapproved Bills

Reconsideration in the House

Vote and debate

Motion to adjourn

Motion to lay on the table.

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