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Obama and the line-item veto

From NBC's Chuck Todd and Abby Livingston
It seems that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Sen. John McCain (R), and Sen. Russ Feingold (D) are on the same page. 

The issue: All three want a presidential line-item veto to curb earmarks and spending.

A line-item veto gives the president the power to veto particular items of a bill without having to veto it in its entirety. During the Clinton administration, Congress gave the power to Clinton, but it was later revoked in 1998 when the Supreme Court ruled that the measure overreached presidential powers.

Today, at the daily White House press conference, one of us asked Gibbs about the administration's stance on a line-item veto. Gibbs answered, "Well, I can assure you he'd love to take that for a test drive." 

The interchange prompted Feingold's office to contact First Read about legislation Feingold and his oft-strange bedfellow -- McCain -- are working on for to bring back a line-item veto that will be limited to spending and earmarks. 

The shared interest between McCain and Feingold is to curb earmark spending. Feingold's office suggested that the legislation would include a sunset provision in 2014 that "would give Congress the ability to review this legislation and decide whether to renew it."

Obama is not the only chief executive to angle for the line-item veto. In 2006, Bush 43 unsuccessfully pushed for the power as well.