Fox News' Chris Wallace had to teach Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that line-item vetoes are unconstitutional
President Trump floated the idea of reviving the line-item veto on Twitter Friday evening, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared on Fox News 36 hours later to echo the proposal.
The subject at hand was the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill Trump signed Friday, a package Mnuchin claimed was excessive only because "the Democrats demanded a massive increase in non-military spending." To trim future bills, he argued, Congress "should give the president a line-item veto."
"But that's been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, sir," Fox host Chris Wallace interjected. Mnuchin was undeterred. "Well, again, Congress could pass a rule, okay, that allows them to do it," he said. "No," Wallace answered, "no, sir, it would be a constitutional amendment." "Chris, we don't — we don't need to get into a debate in terms of — there's different ways of doing this," the treasury secretary sputtered before moving on.
Wallace is correct. Congress approved the line-item veto, which permits the president to strike individual items from budget bills, in 1996. Just two years later, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, finding it usurps congressional power.
Watch a clip of Wallace and Mnuchin below. Bonnie Kristian