[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[March 20, 1995]
[Pages 373-374]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Proposed Line-Item Veto Legislation
March 20, 1995

    The Senate is now debating the line-item veto legislation which 
passed last month in the House. I urge the Senate to pass the strongest 
possible line-item veto and to make it effective immediately. If the 
Members of Congress from both parties are serious about cutting the 

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give me this line-item veto, and I will get started right away. This is 
one area where both parties can and should come together.
    I have advocated the line-item veto for a very long time. When I was 
a Governor, I had a line-item veto and I balanced 12 budgets in a row. I 
advocated the line-item veto when I ran for President, and I have pushed 
for it since becoming President because it is a very effective tool for 
cutting wasteful Government spending and bringing down the deficit.
    We have made great headway in cutting wasteful spending. We have 
already cut the Federal bureaucracy by 102,000 positions, on the way to 
cutting a quarter million. We are bringing the deficit down by more than 
$600 billion. My new budget calls for another $81 billion in deficit 
    But there is still too much waste in the Federal budget. This year I 
have proposed eliminating 131 programs altogether and consolidating 270 
others. I proposed many of these spending cuts last year and the year 
before, only to have Congress tell me I couldn't cut their pet projects. 
I tried to cut $16 million for the Small Business Administration's tree 
planting program, but Congress put it back in the budget. Congress even 
spent $12 million for a cattle tick eradication project.
    Well, this year, if the Congress gives me the line-item veto, I will 
cut each one of these programs, and a whole lot more. I also think the 
line-item veto should be applied to the revenue as well as the spending 
sides of the budget, so I can curb wasteful tax and spending provisions.
    This is really about closing the door on business-as-usual in 
Washington. If Congress is serious about changing the way Washington 
works and getting a handle on wasteful spending, they will put politics 
aside, stand up to the special interests, and pass the bill.
    The President, no matter what party, needs the line-item veto to 
bring discipline to the budget process. I urge the Senate to pass it and 
make it effective right now.