Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cut That Man Off, Already!

By Cassandra D

You would think that with Bush's approval ratings in the toilet and given that the most common word association that Americans come up with for him is "incompetent," Congress would have the guts to rein him in.

Chase already wrote about Bush's propensity to tack "signing statements" onto bills. It's no wonder he hasn't vetoed anything: he thinks he can just ignore whatever he doesn't like.

Now comes word that he plans to ignore the parts he doesn't like in the newly reauthorized Patriot Act.

This man really believes he is King George ... or at least God's infallible chosen one.

Why can't Congress put an end to the signing statements?


At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

I'm going to hazard a guess that Congress can't put a stop to the signing statements because they're the legislative branch of the government and the president is a part of the executive branch. I'm in no way a constitutional scholar, so there could be a lot of this I get wrong, but if Congress were able to do something like that, then they would be overstepping their outlined authority in a similar fashion to the way these signing statements are supposed to be overstepping the executive branch's authority.
Not sure what the answer, but I think erasing more boundaries between the branches is not the best long-term solution.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

That's kind of what I figure, too, Brett, but it really does seem that Bush is legislating from the executive office with his signing statements. And how,exactly, are limits put on that power? Does a case have to go before the Supreme Court? Has one already? How can Congress retain the power to legislate? Shouldn't the veto be the way the President disagrees? Isn't it set up that was so that Congress can vote whether or not to override? Is there no way for Congress to override the signing statement? (There isn't as far as I know.) But do signing statements really have any power? I just don't understand this fully, but I don't like what I do understand.

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Greta McInerney-Spinoza said...

Whatever W's signing statements include, he is still obliged to follow the law. Or, last I heard he was. Can a signing statement really have the force of law? Last I heard, we have a legislative branch to enact law. That's obviously changed -- not sure when that got slipped in.

Senator Russ Feingold of WI -- who also thinks that the president is not above the law -- is literally a lone voice in the congressional wilderness.

Congress needs to stand up for its own right to legislate. Instead, even the Democratic party shuns the one person who stands up for the constitution.


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