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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Line-Item Veto Legislation

June 07, 1995

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Leader:)

I am deeply alarmed by today's press report that some Republicans in the House and Senate want to continue to hold back the line-item veto so that I don't have it during this year's budget process. The line-item veto is a vital tool to cut pork from the budget. If this Congress is serious about deficit reduction, it must pass the strongest possible line-item veto immediately, and send it to my desk so I can sign it right away.

This is not a partisan issue. Presidents Reagan and Bush asked Congress for it time and again, and so have I. It was part of the Republican Contract with America. It has strong support from members of Congress in both parties and both houses. No matter what party the President belongs to or what party has a majority in Congress, the line-item veto would be good for America.

If Congress will send me the line-item veto immediately, I am willing to pledge that this year, I will use it only to cut spending, not on tax expenditures in this year's budget. I have already put you on notice that I will veto any budget that is loaded with excessive tax breaks for the wealthy. But I need the line-item veto now to hold the line against pork in every bill the Congress sends me.

The American people have waited long enough. Congress should give them and the Presidency the line-item veto without further delay.



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Bob Dole, Senate majority leader. This letter was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.

William J. Clinton, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Line-Item Veto Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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