The purpose of today’s meeting is to mark up the Expedited Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2011.
I am proud to be here today marking up legislation that was written in a bipartisan way with my counterpart on this committee, the Ranking Member, Chris Van Hollen.
Chris, I want to thank you and your hardworking staff for helping us advance this common-sense reform to improve government’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
The Expedited Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act gives the President an important tool to target unjustified spending, while also protecting Congress’s constitutional authority to make spending decisions.
This new authority would allow the President to specify spending provisions within an appropriations bill, while requiring stand-alone consideration of these rescission proposals by Congress.
Legislation implementing the proposed spending cancellations would receive expedited floor consideration and an automatic up-or-down vote in both chambers of Congress. Should Congress approve the rescission bill, every dollar of savings would be devoted to deficit reduction.
In addition to this bill, there are a number of other budget process reforms that are badly needed and that I want to mark up in this committee. This bill, for example, does not address mandatory spending, which represents 60 percent of our budget and is the key driver of our debt.
We also need to keep in mind that budget process reforms alone will not solve our enormous budget challenges, but this reform and others can give us tools to help us tackle the drivers of the debt and remove impediments to economic growth.
With that, I yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Van Hollen.