Mnuchin Thinks Congress 'Should Give the President a Line Item Veto'

Susan Jones | March 26, 2018 | 9:04am EDT
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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (Photo: Screen grab/Fox News)

( - Donald Trump isn't the first president to say he wants a line-item veto, something the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional.

In both remarks and a tweet after signing the $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday, Trump said, "I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I'm calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills!"

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin echoed Trump's call for a line-item veto in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

"I think -- I think they should give the president a line item veto," Mnuchin told host Chris Wallace, who responded that it's been ruled unconstitutional.

In a 6-3 decision in 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto Congress gave to President Bill Clinton in 1996 violated the Constitution's Presentment Clause, which says the president may either sign a bill into law, let it become law without his signature, or send it back to Congress with his objections.

The justices ruled, "there is no constitutional authorization for the president to amend or repeal" by eliminating those line items with which he disagrees.

Mnuchin told Chris Wallace, "We don't need to get into a debate in terms of -- there's different ways of doing this.

"My comment is, it's clear what happened. The Democrats, in order to get us military spending, demanded a massive increase in non-military spending. And the president made the decision this time that that was worth it because military spending, given what's going on in Iran, in North Korea, in Venezuela, and Russia, all around the world where we're using sanctions, we need to make sure we have a military that has the necessary resources."

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