Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Congress surrenders power of the purse

I’ve been gathering articles about Bush's use of signing statements to circumvent laws for several years. Many of them are illegal, i.e., impeachable offenses.

The most recent one is almost unbelievable if George Bush gets away with it. Congress will no longer control the purse strings.

Dan Froomkin, who blogs for The Washington Post at the White House Watch, linked to Bruce Fein's Washington Times opinion column (scroll down to “Signing Statements Watch”) about Congress’s surrender of the power of the purse over national security affairs to the White House. Fein is a conservative. He appeared with The Nation's Washington Correspondent John Nichols on Bill Moyers’s "Tough Talk on Impeachment" Fein’s article: "Power of the purse purloined?"

Froomkin also reports: "After Bush issued his latest signing statement, [Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.] signed onto a bill that would nullify presidential signing statements, becoming the fourth co-sponsor for a bipartisan bill introduced in June by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

"'The president's job is to sign or veto legislation passed by Congress,' Tester said in a press release last week. 'He doesn't get to add small print allowing him to pick and choose what he wants.'

"Specter's Senate Bill 1747 and its House twin (with 58 co-sponsors) assert that Congress has the constitutional authority to write legislation, while the president's role in enacting legislation is limited to signing it or vetoing it. Both bills direct that 'no federal or state court shall rely on or defer to a presidential signing statement as a source of authority.'”

(Bill of Rights revised (click to enlarge):

No comments: