The Republican-led House has voted to give President Obama and his successors the line-item veto, an authority to single out individual spending items for elimination that has been sought by both Republican and Democratic presidents.

The measure passed with relative ease as Republicans put aside their usual antipathy for the Democratic president to advance what lawmakers hope will be a useful tool in reducing spending.

It now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are uncertain.

The legislation allows the president to delete specific items from spending bills, subject to congressional approval. Currently, the president must sign or veto spending bills in their entirety.

Congress in 1996 succeeded in giving the authority to President Bill Clinton. But two years later the Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional.