Nothing gets between Trump and a terrible idea, not even the U.S. Constitution.
In mere days, Trump’s ridiculous and unconstitutional demand for a line-item veto has morphed into a secret project to subvert our founding documents.
On Friday, during a press event to sign an omnibus spending bill in order to avoid a government shutdown, Trump said, “To prevent the omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all government spending bills.”
Although the United States Supreme Court declared the line-item veto unconstitutional in 1998, Vice President Mike Pence repeated the demand later on Friday in a campaign speech.
Then on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin humiliated himself by insisting that Congress could “pass a rule” giving Trump a line-item veto.
Fox anchor Chris Wallace corrected him. “No, no, sir, it would be a constitutional amendment.”
On Monday, Trump deputy press secretary Raj Shah was still batting around the idea. When asked if the White House had found a “workaround” for the U.S. Constitution, Shah insisted that “House and Senate rules” are “being discussed” as a way to subvert the Supreme Court decision that ruled the line-item veto unconstitutional.
Like Mnuchin, Pence, and Trump before him, Shah declined to provide details of the plan.
The power Trump seeks would allow him to remove specific provisions from spending bills passed by Congress before signing them into law. That’s exactly what Congress gave the president the power to do in 1996, and exactly what the Supreme Court struck down.
The fact that Trump wants more power for himself is not surprising, nor is Trump’s ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. But the lengths to which his sycophants will go to to defend and appease him is certainly pathetic.
And yet that’s what Trump’s team is now doing. And, if Shah is to be believed, that’s what Republican in Congress are discussing: a “workaround” for Trump to get around the Constitution.