Bush asserts authority to bypass defense act

Bush Signs
“I’m the Decider, and I get to decide.”

January 30, 2008 WASHINGTON (BOSTON GLOBE) — President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill. Full Report


Once again, Bush has exercised a defacto ‘line item veto’ by issuing a signing statement. Many legal eagles claim such statements have no basis in law. In fact, the American Bar Association condemned such statements in 2006.

Curiously, Bush gives no legal reason for his objections to certain portions of the bill. Which portions? Apparently, he disagrees with Congress about permanent bases in Iraq — he wants them. Bush also finds it inconvenient to participate in Congressional investigations that require submission of records — he insists neither the Executive Branch nor the Pentagon should be bothered with such details. Nor should ‘intelligence agencies’ be required to submit any of their records. He does, however, find ‘whistle-blower’ protection an annoyance. So, that part of the bill is also mentioned in the letter’s vague language.

Here is the content of the letter as posted at WhiteHouse.gov:

Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. The Act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs.

Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.

GEORGE W. BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

January 28, 2008.

Don’t you get a warm fuzzy when you read these little ‘love notes’? Congress may not like these statements, but they don’t appear to have done much about them over the past seven years. Politics as usual must mean ‘more talk, less action’. So much for Nancy Pelosi’s bunch. Like we’ve been saying for years now — Democrats and Republicans are nothing more than two heads on the same rotting body. — PID