Although scholars have studied the item veto and its effects at the state level for years, there is considerable disagreement over the national-level political and fiscal ramifications of the implementation of the item veto. Our analysis is the first empirical examination of the use of the item veto at the federal level. We find that partisan politics and an interest in fiscal austerity played little or no role in the president's decision-making calculus on recent defense appropriations vetoes. Programmatic goals, on the other hand, played a significant role in determining whether or not projects were vetoed.
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