Fingers crossed behind his back

So, what’s the big deal about George W. Bush’s “signing statements”?

A president can attach signing statements to bills passed by Congress, with which he (or she) takes exception to certain provisions of the new law.

Bush has attached more than 1,100 to laws which have crossed his desk. LINK

That’s more signing statements than have been attached to bills by all other previous presidents combined. All.

And, therein lies the rub.

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that federal agencies have ignored 30 percent of the laws passed by Congress and accompanied by Bush’s signing statements. One-third. LINK

Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd (D-WV), the Senate’s foremost expert on the workings of that body, said, “This GAO opinion underscores the fact that the Bush White House is constantly grabbing for more power, seeking to drive the people's branch of government to the sidelines." LINK

In another article, Byrd is quoted, "Too often, the Bush administration does what it wants, no matter the law. It says what it wants, no matter the facts." LINK

Last August delegates representing 410,000 members of the American Bar Association objected to presidents using signing statements to circumvent laws passed by Congress in lieu of a presidential veto.

In the resolution, the ABA condemned Bush’s overuse of signing statements. LINK
"The Constitution says the president has two choices: either sign the bill or veto it. And, if you sign it, you can't have your hand behind your back with your fingers crossed," said Michael Greco, the ABA's outgoing president.


An important post follows.

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