Yesterday’s House approval of a line-item veto bill (HR 3521) continues our national reprise of the budget politics of the 1990s—complete with Newt Gingrich, but probably without the rather important denouement of ultimate compromise and budget surplus.
It is worth thinking about the structure and likely outcome of line-item veto proposals. Given the importance of the veto power to interbranch relations, why would Congress expand its scope, encouraging presidential encroachment on the power of the purse?
You may have seen a news item in today’s New York Times (posted yesterday as part of “The Caucus” blog on the Times’ site), which noted that negative ads accounted for over 90% of the political advertising Floridians saw during the last week. Figures are courtesy of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
Roy Ash, an important figure in the “battles of the budget” in the 1970s as director of OMB under Presidents Nixon and Ford, died this week. (His obituary is here.)
Given President Obama’s proposal today on government reorganization—he hopes to merge six agencies dealing with business and trade into one—it is timely to note the history of such efforts and the lessons Roy Ash might teach us on that front.
Yes, I know today is devoted to New Hampshire (live free or die…), but the departure of William Daley as White House chief of staff gives me the excuse to trumpet the 75th anniversary of the Brownlow Committee report to President Franklin Roosevelt—released this week in 1937. After all, without the Brownlow report, there would be no staff to be chief of.