View Full Version : GOP Will Not Support Restriction On Bush Signing Statements

07-26-2006, 01:49 PM
GOP will not support restriction on Bush signing statments


Published: Wednesday July 26, 2006

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has been unsuccessful in lining up Republican support in his efforts to challenge the White House on President Bush's use of "signing statements," today's edition of Congressional Quarterly's Congress Today is reporting.

The American Bar Association has issued a report (see American Bar Association denounces Bush's signing statements) which criticizes the statements, more than 800 of which have been signed by Bush. In signing the statements, Bush has made clear his intent to ignore portions of laws and to consider other laws as 'advisory.'

Specter will be introducing a bill to give Congress standing to sue Bush over the statements. If Specter is able to muster the support of most Democrats, he would still face a difficult time in passing the proposal before this session of Congress ends, reports CQ. A number of Republicans, including Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME), have been critical of the President's actions, but have stopped short of endorsing Specter's Bill.

Excerpts from the registration-restricted article follow....

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for another showdown with the White House, this time over President Bush's use of "signing statements" to challenge provisions he finds objectionable in bills he signs into law.

But opposition from other Republicans means that Arlen Specter will have a difficult time making legislative headway in his latest move to counter executive powers assumed by the Bush White House.

Bush has used hundreds of signing statements during his five years in office to effectively declare his intention to ignore portions of new laws or view them as advisory.

Specter, R-Pa., said he will offer a bill later this week that would lay the groundwork for Congress to challenge Bush's signing statements in court. His announcement came after a working group of the American Bar Association (ABA) issued a July 24 report criticizing Bush for issuing more than 800 such statements.

Specter said his legislation would "give the Congress standing to seek relief in the federal courts in situations where the president has issued such signing statements" and "authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements, with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional."