A couple of lawmakers from Wisconsin want to give the president power to cut pork.
US Senator Russ Feingold — a Democrat — is working with a couple of Republicans to give the president line item veto power, to remove earmarks from legislation that reaches his desk. Feingold says congress would then have to consider the vetoed earmarks individually to decide whether they should move forward.
“The other thing I'm hearing more and more, frankly especially from my Democratic colleagues is, 'You know these earmarks is the reason we were sent here. This is what we are supposed to do.' Well this crowd works pretty hard and we don't do 'em. And we don't think that's the core of the job of a senator or a congressman.”
Appleton Congressman Steve Kagen is a Democrat who likes earmarks, saying they serve a purpose.
“Are they not in favor of investing in the city of Green Bay and the public safety? Are they against highway expenditures to build our roads? What is it that they're in favor of?”
Feingold says earmark spending is out of control and something needs to be done about it. He believes the line item veto proposal is constitutional because congress would still have the final say whether the earmarks are included in a bill.