Today's New York Times has an article about the latest Republican budget proposal. The bill contains the usual odiousness of Republican budgets:
Senior aides say the conservatives' plan would wring about $350 billion from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs and save $300 billion partly through a major reorganization of the Education, Commerce and Energy Departments.
But something else later in the article struck me.
Though members of Congress are typically reluctant to cede too much power over spending to the executive branch, several lawmakers gave initial expressions of support, including House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Republican of Illinois, and Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts.
"It's no secret that President Bush and I don't agree on much," Mr. Kerry said, "but I fully support giving him the line-item veto."
The Supreme Court rightly overturned the law that granted Bill Clinton line-item veto power - it unconstitutionally gives legislative power to the executive branch at the expense of Congress. So, why is Kerry now supporting giving Bush this same power?
Republicans believe they've found a sneaky way around Constitutional objections:
Under the new proposal, the president would be able to identify objectionable projects and then send them back to Capitol Hill for an up-or-down vote without requiring a veto of the entire bill.
But the fact that the Republican dominated Congress has acted as nothing but a rubber stamp for the Bush administration does little to effectively deal with the fact that this is a blatant transfer of legislative power to an already overreaching executive.
But this sort of dereliction of duty has become predictable for the Republican leadership. Why, though, is John Kerry in favor of this? The Bush administration has shown nothing but contempt for the separation of powers, checks and balances, and transparency that made our country great. If any administration has shown a predilection for abuse of power, it's this one.
Democrats need to be presenting a united voice in opposition to the Republican budget that gives away the nation at the expense of regular Americans, not conceding more power to the Bush administration.