The White House called for a new presidential power Monday to slash spending in a way that would be similar to a line-item veto.
The “expedited rescission authority” that President Barack Obama is sending to Congress this week would allow the president to propose a package of cuts to recently signed spending measures and then force Congress to take up-or-down votes on it. Those cuts would become law if they received majorities in both chambers.
The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate said it would review the plan, but stopped short of endorsing it.
“Here we are providing a way for the president to give the knife back to Congress for it to cut unnecessary fat,” White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said on a conference call.
The president could propose cuts to provisions for new discretionary and non-entitlement mandatory spending but not to tax measures or Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. The current budget rules allow the president to propose rescissions to approved spending, but they don’t allow him to force lawmakers to vote on them.
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