July 18, 1985
As the Senate considers S. 43, I wanted you to know and convey to your colleagues my strong support for this initiative. As you know, I asked the Congress to pass this legislation in my State of the Union Address on February 6th. I am pleased that under your leadership the Senate is acting judiciously on this important matter.
The line-item veto authority would provide a powerful tool for eliminating wasteful and unnecessary spending. I've often made known my willingness to use such a veto authority judiciously -- but firmly -- to curtail the excesses often embedded in otherwise meritorious legislation. As Governor of the State of California, I had firsthand experience with the line-item veto and found it necessary to keep spending in check and used the line-item veto on over 900 occasions to remove unnecessary spending from the budget. In every instance the legislature agreed with my decision.
Given your strong and courageous efforts to date to reach a budget compromise with the House, I know you share my conviction that bringing Federal spending under control is essential if we are to sustain economic growth. Yet the uncertain outcome of that endeavor underscores the need to move forward on all fronts to hold down government spending.
The American people have a right to expect that all of us in government make every effort to eliminate deficit spending. I hope the Congress can move forward expeditiously on legislation providing line-item veto authority and not get sidetracked on procedural considerations. If the Congress acts responsibly on this issue, I pledge to do my part as well.
Note: The original was not available for verification of the content of this letter to Senator Robert Dole.