UPDATE: After supporters expressed outrage over President Donald Trump appearing to cave on his initial veto threat in the massive bailout and stimulus packages, some media noted that the president’s invocation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 appeared to be Trump’s way of circumventing a ban on line-item vetoes.
I think it’s a back door line item veto – as if he discovered something in that Impoundment Act long overlooked by professional politicians.
— “The (Deplorable) Dude” (@southpaw862) December 28, 2020
The suggestion at the very least called into question initial claims that Trump had capitulated to congressional demands in signing the two massive spending bills.
The president said that despite his signature, the subsequent “rescission request” also carried the weight of law.
“The Act provides that, ‘whenever the President determines that all or part of any budget authority will not be required to carry out the full objectives or scope of programs for which it is provided, or that such budget authority should be rescinded for fiscal policy or other reasons (including termination of authorized projects or activities for which budget authority has been provided), the President shall transmit to both Houses of Congress a special message,’” he said.
However, it is unclear how much legal weight Trump’s “special message” would carry in forcing Congress to make cuts to the bill, and whether doing so might be quickly achieved with his time in office appearing to wane.
Democrats continued to insist that the legal gambit invoking the obscure, Watergate-era law amounted to little more than a red herring to help him save face.
Anyone want to inform Trump he has no Line Item Veto authority? Redlining legislation with demand to change it has no validity. Either sign it or veto it, there is no “in-between.” https://t.co/vcArdMpqro
— Daniel R. Rubin (@RubinsRants) December 28, 2020
Original story below:
By signing the bill, Trump will allow funding for the federal government and prevent a partial shutdown.
Trump announced the signing in a statement Sunday night.
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” he wrote. “I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”
Recission requests do not bind Congress, but Trump hopes that Democrats and Republicans will negotiate changes after the bill becomes law.
Trump initially said that he would not sign the bill unless Congress spent more on direct payments.
“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” he said.
Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., agreed with Trump’s call for more spending on direct payments.
Democrats could negotiate with Republicans by asking for $2,000 direct payments in exchange for cuts to the bill’s foreign giveaways and domestic expenditures.
But negotiations after Trump signs the bill seem unlikely as Democrats expect him to leave the White House next month.
“I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more,” Trump said.